Cromwell couple gains community support for 24-hour gym in town's mall

Cromwell woman Alex Offen is building a 24-hour gym, Central-Fitness, in the Cromwell Mall with partner Johnny Roberts.
Jo McKenzie-McLean

Cromwell woman Alex Offen is building a 24-hour gym, Central-Fitness, in the Cromwell Mall with partner Johnny Roberts.

A young Cromwell couple with a passion for fitness plans to open a 24-hour gym in the mall.

Central-Fitness directors Alex Offen and Johnny Roberts have hosted two registration weekends and received a "wealth of support" from the community with nearly 150 people signed up. 

"Because of the 147 people that have signed up Central-Fitness is now under development. We would like to say a huge thank you to all those that have been supporting us so far.

"We want to create a social space in the gym and it made sense to involve the community in the process and get the their opinion. It worked really well and we received some cool ideas, many of which we hadn't considered  Seeing people's response and passion made me more excited at the prospect of starting the new gym. I am a local and it surprised me that the majority of people interested I had never met before and a lot of them were not gym goers."

The pair had already finalised the equipment, that was being made from scratch for the gym, she said.

"We want to cater for lots of different abilities and our equipment selection has been based on feedback from the community. The gym's point of difference was it would be open 24-hours, and be largely unmanned. Although the pair, as well as personal trainers, would be on hand.

"We have an experienced advisor who is passionate about community gyms working with our trainers. Being open 24-hours caters for people who could not go during normal business hours, were self-conscious, or people busy with families.

"We want to be a community gym and want members to respect and love their gym and look forward to going there - not dread it. We have called it Central Fitness because it's Central Otago and want it to be a hub where sports teams can come and use the gym, and we want to be able to support sports teams down the track."

The pair was used to working with sports teams. Robert coached basketball, while Offen, who had a physical education degree from Otago University, was a swimming coach, she said.

"We both have a big love of sport and being fit. We wanted to have a project we both could do together and that was the one that made the most sense. It is a big investment but it's worth it. We love it and get such a buzz seeing people succeed."

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All going to plan, the gym would be open by December.

For every person who signed up the past two weekends, they would get a free copy of their "Get Strong" or "Get Lean" nutrition programmes created with a PhD Sports Food Science student Alex Lubranksy and conditioning coach Kale Panoho.

For more information email: or check them out on Facebook



 - Stuff


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