Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes visited Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym in Worth and took part in exercise classes today (Tuesday, June 19) following an invitation from a member of the gym.
British sporting legend Dame Kelly Holmes who specialised in the 800 and 1500 metres events in a glittering career is most famous for winning a gold medal for both distances at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Dame Kelly, who still holds the records for the 600, 800 and 1000 metre distances was invited to the gym by one of its members, Mandy Keogh, who is a self-confessed health and fitness fanatic, and energy-food blogger.
Mandy Keogh, who uses the Instagram account mandys_eats, said: “I have been speaking to Kelly for around a year now, around nine months-ago I gave her a shout-out on Instagram to come down to Crawley.’
“Kelly has been so busy up-and-down the country, but she’s now found the time to join us and it’s brilliant, so thrilled she could come down and meet the members. Despite my arm injury I have been involved too!”
Sporty Mandy is among the many followers of Dame Kelly Holmes on social media who have answered the retired athlete’s call to invite her to an exercise session, and the visit proved hugely popular with gym members.
Sean Foord, general manager, said: “It’s great to have a double gold Olympic medal-winning athlete like Dame Kelly here at Nuffield, Crawley. It’s brilliant she could come down to take part in our exercise classes.”
Nuffield Health is a leading not-for-profit UK healthcare organisations, looking after people for more than 60 years. It runs a network of hospitals, medical clinics, fitness and wellbeing clubs and diagnostic units across the UK.
Stephen Trussell, wellbeing personal trainer who led the high-intensity sessions, said: “I remember Kelly winning gold in the 2004 Olympics, I was funnily enough on holiday in Greece at the time, and at that time I didn’t expect to ever be up-close and personal with an Olympic star.’
“All she’s done in her career, it’s phenomenal, the #JoinInJune campaign is a great project – for Kelly it’s all about building a lasting legacy. There’s no better time to do it and get active, with childhood obesity levels and diabetes rates and the cost to the NHS” Stephen added.
Following retirement, Dame Kelly founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to support young athletes and young people facing disadvantage. As well as the trust, Dame Kelly is encouraging people to get into sport by using the social media hashtag, #JoinInJune this month.
Dame Kelly Holmes, said: “The #JoinInJune campaign is about inspiring and motivating. My elite days are behind me but I really want to get involved and inspire people to have more active lives. Everyone can be inspired and for me it’s about becoming a better version of themselves.”
Reflecting on the day, Jo Gaskell, deputy general manager, said: “This has been a great day for members, the sessions have been all inclusive which is what our club is all about. We’re not just about elite athletes, we have a wide demographic – age is not a barrier – we are very much a club for all.”
For more information about Mandy Keogh’s food and fitness blogging, visit her Instagram page: mandys_eats
For more information about the facilities at Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym in Worth, visit: www.nuffieldhealth.com/gyms/crawley