South Shields gym owner celebrates success of women-only fitness club after two years of struggles during Covid-19 pandemic
Club Zest, in Sea Road, Fulwell, Sunderland is a women’s only fitness club which supports ladies in Sunderland by offering a fully equipped gym, over 60 sessions a week and personal trainers.
The gym, owned by Holly Mcbride-Donaldson, 36, from Seaburn and Jennie Moyse, 28, from South Shields, is celebrating winning a National Fitness Award in the Ladies Only category, despite facing two years of struggles due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the course of the pandemic, the gym was forced to close four times and faced worries over its future, but continued to support its members and the community with online gym classes, outdoor sessions and even raised £1000 for the Covid ward at Tyneside District Hospital.
Winning the award is a welcome pay off for the hard work keeping the gym going during the pandemic, according to co-owner Holly, who started at the gym 20 years ago before taking over the business in 2017.
She said: “Just because the club had to shut didn’t mean we had to let our members down. It really helped a lot of people through lockdown, being able to see each other's faces on zoom and remain a community.
“It felt amazing to win the National Fitness Award, especially after the last two years we’ve gone through. There’s been times where we didn’t know if the business would make it through the pandemic but I think winning the award showed we can really make a difference to the women of Sunderland.
According to Holly, community is the most important aspect of the women’s only club. She added: “It’s so important to have that community. We all keep each other motivated and have all built friendships. It’s so much more than just a gym.”
Club Zest is open to women of all ages, ability and fitness levels with their current youngest member being 10 and oldest 86. To find out more about the gym, visit https://www.clubzest.co.uk/