A NEW female-only gym has opened to provide women with a “safe and encouraging” space to exercise.
Eliot Rogers, 24, and Chris Wyles, 25 launched Mama Fit with the goal of creating a supportive community for women to workout and socialise.
The new gym and cafe in The Martlets, Burgess Hill, opened for takeaway on Monday after the pair spent months transforming the two-storey building into a welcoming and vibrant space.
Co-owner Eliot, who lives in Hurstpierpoint, said creating somewhere for women to exercise “safely” was at the forefront of his vision, particularly in light of recent tragic events and discussions around women’s safety.
He said: “We wanted to create somewhere where women felt like they could achieve their fitness goals in a secure and encouraging space.
“It’s one of the reasons we stuck with the idea of ladies because we wanted to create a safe space with community at its heart where people can go and enjoy themselves without any prying eyes.
“With all the discussions taking place on social media regarding what men can do to make women feel safer, hopefully we are playing a part in that.”
The gym will offer two memberships, including a lifestyle package focused on health and wellbeing and a separate package offering functional fitness and self defence classes.
Chris, who lives in Saltdean, said: “Our staff and personal trainers will all be women. We are conscious and what we have always done is build communities.
“What we want to do is build a community of staff and customers that is female led and female focused.”
The gym will not open until April 12 in line with the easing of national lockdown restrictions, but indoor exercise classes will not be allowed until at least May 17.
However. the cafe is open for takeaways and offers a range of food and drink including healthy shakes, coffee, bagels and smoothie bowls.
Chris said they had tried to think “creatively” about how to successfully launch their business during lockdown.
He said: “We just ploughed into it and of course the global situation is tricky, but we are confident that we are taking a risk that will work out.
“We’ve had to be a bit clever about the fact the gym isn’t going to open for a while and we’ve got this space and it’s beautiful, it’s just a shame people can’t sit in it yet.
“We’re just trying to be as creative as we can be and hopefully people can come and get takeaway coffee and get to know us and the space.”
To find out more about Mama Fit, visit https://mamafitcafe.com/