23 Apr 2007

GriffithstownForget French sticks and iced buns, step through the doors of the Old Bakery in Griffithstown and you’ll find an abundance of kick bags and gym equipment.

In 2006 the former bakery was given a full £55,000 makeover – part funded by a £20,000 lottery grant from the Sports Council for Wales - to transform itself into a fitness and martial arts academy open to the entire community.

And almost a year on from throwing open its doors, Fighting Fit is booming.

Taekwando sessions take place from Monday to Thursday where all ages are catered for and the fitness suite is a hub of activity from daybreak to nightfall.

Griffithstown Martial ArtsThe centre was a welcome addition in an area which was lacking in recreational facilities for its young people. Rather than hanging about on street corners, young people have been given a healthy alternative and an antidote to boredom and adults a healthy alternative to television viewing.

Steering the project from the offset, Jo Draper has invested her own time and money into Fighting Fit. She says; "It really has been a labour of love. Fitness has always been hugely important to me and I want more people to realising the benefits.

"As word spreads, we’ve seen more and more kids sign up to the classes. They come to three times and week and get a fun workout with their friends. And because it’s a doorstep facility parents have less of and issue with transport and time."