A Reading City FC player bought, renovated and opened a new gym in less than three months with his childhood friend.
Manager Josh Baines, who signed as the club’s central midfielder this summer, turned the former Rivers Ibis at Tilehurst along with his friends, fiance and volunteers.
The Atrium Health Club, with soccer fields, a cafÃ© and a bar, will open tomorrow.
âIt’s very exciting. If I’m being honest, everyone worked hard to get it on time – we worked until 1:30 am, night after night, a small group of us,â Abbie said. Shaw, who volunteers as a marketing manager for the gym alongside him, works at Royal London Insurance.
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Abbie, who lives in Tilehurst with her partner Josh, explained that their friendship group had been essential in making the gym a reality, with friends offering to code the website, paint and decorate.
She thanked the Tilehurst community volunteers, who volunteered their time to clean up and pick up trash after Josh purchased the Scours Lane building in June.
âWe want it to be a real hub and I think that is reflected in the way we have brought together the people who have volunteered to come and fill the holes, sand and paint,â Abbie said.
âAlthough the evenings were exhausting and late, people gathered and I think we started as we want to continue. ”
Josh, who was born in Tilehurst, previously worked as a personal trainer at the site’s old gymnasium before it was sold off by prudential.
Abbie said, “Josh could really see the potential and wanted to breathe some life into it.”
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âI think there is a real market for it. There are a lot of low budget gyms, but for people looking for a more welcoming environment or a little more personal, there was nothing else at Tilehurst, âshe added.
The fitness center will include a large reception hall with a large rig, a conference room, a personal training space and events for weddings.
It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday so people can take a look at the equipment and learn about personal training sessions.