A BOXING gym has been announced as the winner of The News Gym of the Year competition.
Bally’s Boxing Gym topped the list for the best in the area after streams of nominations came in for the centre, which is in Milton Road.
Co-owner Michael Ballingall has said he cannot believe they won.
The 39-year-old said: ‘I was totally shocked to find out because we aren’t a fancy gym but a good, old-fashioned one.
‘We work hard with our customers to get them fitter and most of our equipment is for people who want to do boxing.
‘But this makes us unique and I think that’s why people voted for us.’
Bally’s Boxing Centre runs a series of classes for children, women and men.
The amateur section, Chimes ABC, is run by Colin Hooker. Michael said having the different classes for all ages probably helped with getting the votes.
He added: ‘We know a lot of the parents who’s kids train at the gym. My partner, Andy Wells and I grew up in this area and went to school here too so we know a lot of the parents.
‘They get their kids involved and it goes from there.
‘Being local has helped with our popularity.
‘But I never expected to win when we heard we had been nominated. It shows how much people like what we do.’
As well as running the boxing classes and sessions, Michael’s gym also has the normal equipment to help with fitness.
‘We are predominantly about boxing but we do have other general equipment you find in other gyms,’ said Michael.
‘But we have no fancy stuff because we look at losing weight in the old way. You don’t need all high standard stuff – just good old boxing will help you get fitter or lose weight.
‘We also have a place where people can grab a bite to eat and have a cuppa and people do.
‘They pop in in the morning before work and say hello so we are very much in the community.’
For more information on Bally’s Boxing Gym visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Ballys-boxing-gym.
The runner-up of your Gym of the Year went to NMA Performance, on Wickham Road, in Fareham. They combine high intensity traning with strength and conditioning training. For more information visit nmaperformance.co.uk
Third place went to Fratton Community Centre, in Fratton. The centre has a fitness zone with a range of equipment at varying prices.
For more information visit frattoncc.org.uk/fitness-zone