SNP - Tom Wills

Strong future for weight training club as new gym moves step closer

SHETLAND Weight Training Club has moved one step closer to fulfilling its long-held dream of owning its own purpose-built gym after plans for a new facility in Tingwall were given the thumbs up.

Planners granted permission earlier this year for the private gym to be built near Tingwall Airport – paving the way for the club to expand.

What the new gym will look like. Image: Shetland Islands Council/PJP Architects.

The weight training club, which has grown to enjoy a membership of around 170 since forming in 2008, will be able to buy new and better equipment when it launches its proposed new two-storey gym.

At the moment the club runs out of rented space over three floors at Norway House in the centre of Scalloway, providing 24/7 access if necessary thanks to a fingerprint recognition system.

It has continued to prove popular, with over 1,100 visits in August last year, for example – a daily average of 37.

Shetland Weight Training Club chairman Stuart Moar said the team would like to get on with the work for the new building “as soon as possible”.

“We moved into Norway House in Scalloway ten years ago, and even before that, with the gym at Herrislea, it was always a dream to be able to go ahead and get a purpose-built building that the club can then own,” he added.

“That will secure the future of the club for years and years to come.

“We’ll have a bit more room and scope to cater for some things that we don’t do at the moment, even the possibility of running classes and that kind of thing.”

Weight training equipment is also available at the recently upgraded gym at the Clickimin, but Moar believes the facilities can cater for different folk.

He said the weight training scene in Shetland is healthy at the moment, with social media helping to spread the word.

“When we opened up the gym in Scalloway, we only had the one floor, and about 30 or 40 members,” Moar said. “It just seems to be growing and growing.

“Some of the folk maybe just train because they enjoy it, but we do have the guys that go away and compete in powerlifting and strongman, so hopefully with a new place we’d be able to push that on a bit further as we do sponsor our guys to go away.”

By-Election 2019 - Meet the candidates