SASSA had leased his building for 10 years and after they had cancelled the lease a year ago, the only potential buyers were going to turn the building into a liquor store.
However, businessman Dave Coleman knew that he had to use the premises for something positive for the community, instead, and created Dave’s Gym.
Coleman’s first gymnasium is situated in West End and he has already seen what a positive contribution a gym can make to a community.
Dave’s Gym, situated on the corner of Bell Road and Springbok Street in Gelvandale, opened late last year.
“When SASSA moved out, I was very depressed because the rent of that building was a huge chunk of my income. But now that it has turned into a gym I can see how much it changes people’s lives.
“The gym does not generate much financially as we charge very nominal fees, but the impact that it has on the community is enormous.
“Gelvandale did not need another liquor store. I knew that this building had to be used for something that would uplift the community. I see this gym a rough diamond in our area.
“The atmosphere in here is electrifying.”
The gym is used by young and old, but the youth especially find it to be a haven where they can exercise in a safe environment and enjoy the perks of free wi-fi and state-of-the-art equipment.
On Wednesdays a section of the gym is used free of charge by the Xiao-Long Kickboxing Club, led by Sensei Mervyn January, for training.
The Pro Skills Soccer Academy also uses the gym on Fridays, for free, for its 60 young members.
“The feedback that I am getting from coaches and teachers in the community is great.
“There is a shift in the mindset of the children who come to train here. I believe in the saying that a child in sport is a child out of court.”
Besides the youth, the gym also caters for the older generation. The oldest member at Dave’s gym is 83 years old and the second oldest is a healthy 77 years old.
The gym will host a holiday programme for learners at R15 per learner per day and also offers free trial sessions for adults.
For more info contact Dave on 079 878 6018.