A FITNESS enthusiast is going back to her roots to bring the latest exercise craze to South Tyneside.
Donna Kerr-Foley gave up teaching last June after a whirlwind five years launching her No Lippy bootcamp business and seeing other health-inspired ventures take off.
But after a six-month break she is once again taking her place at the front of the gym to bring Ripafit – the latest exercise craze to hit the UK – to South Tyneside.
The 37-year-old is the first personal training instructor to teach the new- style fitness regime in the North East after being chosen from hundreds of others to trial it in the region.
The mum of two said: “After five years of work, work, work, I decided in June the time was right to spend time with my family and licensed the Jarrow No Lippy Boot Camp to another personal trainer. It was the hardest decision I had to make.
“But after taking six months off, I can’t wait to teach again. I might be an entrepreneur during the day, but I am a fitness instructor at heart.
“I really had no intention to teach again but as soon as I saw Ripafit advertised I knew it was my type of class, and I was over the moon to be chosen as one of 19 personal trainers to deliver it.”
Ripafit is a weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) fitness class designed for fat loss, toning, muscle definition, to improve strength and overall fitness conditioning.
Those taking part use barbells, weights and plates to exercise.
Classes are held at Hedley Hall in Ellison Street, Hebburn. and offer a creche and child care, supervised by qualified and DBR Child Care staff, for children aged from babies to 10 years old.
Donna launched her No Lippy Boot Camp five years ago at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow, just four weeks after giving birth to her second son.
She went on to franchise the idea – with trainers now delivering her style of fitness workouts across the country. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that her business empire really took off when she clinched a £50,000 investment on TV’s Dragons’ Den for a portable exercise mat she had developed.
Her pitch attracted the cash from leading businesswomen Deborah Meaden and Kelly Hoppen on the top-rated BBC Two show.
The Running Mat is a portable exercise mat, designed to ease the impact on joints while exercising outdoors, as well as keeping the user’s hands and clothes clean.
The two ‘Dragons’ struck a deal to give her £50,000 for a 40 per cent share in the business. Mrs Kerr-Foley’s No Lippy Boot Camp was the Gazette’s ‘Local Business Accelerators’ competition winner in 2012. It also won a national award for Best Activity Provider.
The camps pride themselves on their inclusivity – participants range from size 6 to size 28 – and their motivational and nutritional advice.
She also has her own Juice Plus business, a health drink venture which she aims to deliver across America, Canada, Australia, and Dubai.
Ripafit classes, lasting an hour, are held on Mondays at 6pm, Tuesdays at 9.30am, Wednesdays at 6.30pm, Thursdays at 9.30am, Fridays at noon and Saturdays at 9am.
Sessions are £5 and booking is essential. Creche facilities are available for all classes.
n For information and to book, contact Donna on 07954604684, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Donna No Lippy on Facebook.