Giving a sense of belonging

2019-04-16 06:01
A fitness session held on Wednesday 10 April. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

A fitness session held on Wednesday 10 April. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Knowing the struggle of being overweight and unhappy with their lives, a couple from Grassy Park took on a fitness journey five years ago, and are now giving back to the community.

Grant Hendricks and his wife, Robyn Young-Hendricks, decided to host free fitness sessions for their fellow residents three years ago and offer sessions twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Young-Hendricks says Grassy Park is a community of a working class population, with the majority juggling between their careers and families, many cannot afford paying for gym due to different circumstances. “That was also our problem back then, we were too busy to take care of ourselves and we were young and career-driven. Before we knew it, our lifestyle impacted our relationship and I was so discouraged and frustrated, until I decided to commit to one thing – physical exercise.

“I can now spend time away from my daily life, socialise and see things differently, and later my husband, Grant, who was very sceptical in the beginning, joined. It is the little things that negatively impact our lives and if we all support each other we can create a health society full of positive relations.”

Young-Hendricks says having dealt with weight issues herself, she does not wish it upon anyone else, hence dedicating two hours a week to inspire and support residents, making them take initiative towards improving their lifestyle.

She says, the sessions are not merely about fitness, but giving a sense of belonging and making them feel confident again.

They say since the beginning, the response has been positive and they have more than 50 residents, both young and old, men and women, who joined.

Pax Adams has been with the club for a year and says it has helped her lose 10kgs so far and she feels better about herself.

Mercedes Phillips, who joined the club four weeks ago, says it took her a while to understand what it was about before joining, but once she joined there was no turning back. “Coming here is so enjoyable, you meet different people and learn more about your body,” says Phillips.

She says her reason for joining is that she does not want to be like the “generation of her mother” that is now battling to maintaining their bodies because they never had the chance and platforms “like these”.

This 21-year-old says she realised shortly after finishing school that she was gaining weight as she became less active, and now wants to maintain and stay in shape while meeting and making friends.


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