A gym devastated by catastrophic flooding has reopened its doors during a star-studded ceremony that has signalled a fresh start for fitness fanatics in Leeds.
Leeds rugby legend Kevin Sinfield was joined by Yorkshire Carnegie teammates in unveiling the revamped Xercise4Less gym, on Kirkstall Industrial Park, to members today.
Areas of the facility were left partially submerged under four feet of water during the Boxing Day floods, which saw the firm write off 400 pieces of equipment including state-of-the-art MMA cages and boxing rings.
But a £1million renovation of the site is now complete and members were welcomed back during the ceremony today.
Jon Wright, chief executive of Xercise4Less, explained that news of the extent of December’s floods was hard to believe at first but since then the togetherness of the local community has helped the gym get back to its feet.
He said: “It’s phenomenal. It has been a pretty unpleasant couple of months for us in terms of this site, but what’s come out of it is that we’ve got some fantastic members. We were inundated with offers of help.
“There is a silver lining. We’ve got a brand new facility with far more of the latest kit but what’s been good for me is the reaction we’ve had. It’s a business but a community as well.”
He said the firm was “fortunate” in being part of a national chain as many flood-hit firms have been left far worse off. He feels work on flood defences is urgently needed.
“If somebody doesn’t put the appropriate defence in place this will happen again. The politicians need to look at the situation,” Mr Wright added.
Kevin Sinfield, known affectionately as Sir Kev to fans, said: “it’s great to know that the local people have their space back.”
Xercise4Less is wasting little time in getting back to staging events. A team of six fundraisers will take part in a 12-hour ‘spinathon’ in aid of the Brain Tumour Research charity today from 8am.
The cycling feat is part of Brain Tumour Research’s On Yer Bike campaign and is hoped to raised at least £2,740 – enough to fund a day of research.
Visit xercise4less.co.uk for further information.