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Gold’s Gym renovates facility, offers new youth training program

After getting damaged from flooding due to the hurricanes in fall of 2018, Gold’s Gym in Albemarle, along U.S. Highway 52, spent much of the past year remodeling its facility.

“Everything essentially, but the equipment was ruined so we had to kind of start all over,” owner Ben Newport said.

He said 2019 was the gym’s recovery year.

And part of the recovery included creating a youth athletic training program to get more young people to the gym. The previous owner, Dusty Mason, approached Newport last January about starting a new youth program. Newport actually purchased the gym, which opened in 2004, from Mason in April.

The program, called Elevate Sports Performance, is for kids 7 to 18 and “aims to provide quality athletic training for any individual or group,” according to information from the program’s flyer. Elevate Sports allows the kids to come to the gym for one-on-one general training or for sports-specific training.

Gold’s Gym has also held several youth camps designed for different age groups while many kids have come to the gym after school to train.

“The idea behind it was to literally elevate our youth into becoming better athletes and better people as well,” Newport said.

While Newport said the training program is not an after school program, he wants it to be a place where young athletes can come several times a week to workout and stay in shape.

Gold’s Gym has personal trainers that are geared toward working with young people, Newport said, along with those that are geared toward helping people train for specific sports.

As a result of the flooding, the gym added field turf for the first time, which has allowed for more diverse kinds of workouts, Newport said. The gym also renovated the entire lobby area and made several cosmetic changes, including new flooring and a new paint job.

In large part due to the renovations, Gold’s Gym named the Albemarle location in July as its Best Improved Gym in North America for 2019. The gym also received an elite club award for member experience.

Newport said the program has been well received not just by the children, but also by their parents, who are often the ones transporting the kids to the gym.

“I really want this to be a place where the community feels at home, and like a family,” Newport said.

The gym is also looking at other ways to impact the community, including designing a corporate wellness program to partner with local businesses. The wellness program would allow trainers to arrange a time to go to the businesses to workout with employees.

“We’re coming out to showcase to you what we can offer and we want to help you out — we want to help your company become more active,” corporate wellness director Zaida McKinney said.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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