Brian’s Gym 20 year Birthday
It has been 20 years at Easter 2011 that Brian Froggatt moved Brian’s Gym into the old Saint George Masonic Lodge building in Victoria Street. Built the late 1800’s, the Saint George Lodge had gone into recess and was put up for sale. A main street location, good size floor area and high ceiling made for an ideal space for a gym. In the last twenty years the building has undergone several extensions including adding a couple of rooms upstairs, and increasing the main floor space by 160 square metres. This has allowed space for more cardio equipment, circuit classes, a sauna room, staff room, and an assessment room.
Starting from a cramped space in Brian’s garage in 1985, where Brian trained locals wanting to get into better shape. They included rugby players, athletes, swimmers and other sportsmen including local Black Cap Dion Nash.
Brian’s Gym operated from a room at the Dargaville Rugby Club for a year after outgrowing the garage.
That also became too small so Brian rented the old Cameo Lounge in Beach Road for two years, until looking for a more permanent location and the Saint George Masonic Lodge was put up for auction.
After purchasing the building, Brian’s father Ray made a few alterations to the building. Opening it up into one large hall instead of two smaller rooms, changing the foyer area and painting the inside with Brian’s mother Janet’s help.
The local Bowhunter’s Club members helped move the gym equipment from Beach Road over a weekend and the Gym was open for business a week after Easter 1991.
Initially running the business alone, Brian was joined by his wife Karen 14 years ago. Over the last 20 years the couple have helped to keep a large percentage of the local community fit and healthy. Members range in age from 12 up to in their eighties and include top level athletes to people just wanting to feel a bit fitter and stronger, and people with various disabilities who need more strength and fitness to have a good quality lifestyle.
Past and present members include several generations of families, some who have been members for the whole 20 years. Brian and Karen try to lead by example living a fitness lifestyle themselves – as well as competing at National and International level in Powerlifting they stay fit running, swimming and cycling.
Brian’s mother still works out in her seventies, and still teaches local children to swim. Brian & Karen’s children also workout in the gym and keep fit with different sports.
They hope to continue offering health and fitness advice and support to the community for years to come.