Doors finally open at new Dereham gym
- Credit: Brittany Woodman
A hotly-anticipated new gym has finally opened after months of delays due to the impact of coronavirus and supply chain issues.
Sanctuary, which specialises in bodybuilding, had been due to open at Dereham Business Hub back in January.
The plans were foiled, however, by Covid restrictions - forcing business partners Paul Booth and Kylie Blaver to bide their time.
But now the couple, who compete in competitions across the country, have begun welcoming their first members.
"It's really good to actually open the doors and get people in," said Miss Blaver.
"It actually feels like a gym now, especially when you see like-minded people enjoying their workouts.
"Everyone who has been in has been raving about the place, including on social media, and we are getting some good reviews so far."
Mr Booth, who used to be a professional cyclist and took up bodybuilding in his early-20s, is fresh from running his own gym in Rochdale for the last 13 years.
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Meanwhile, Miss Blaver - who works as a paramedic - started bodybuilding after having a hip replacement due to an accident she suffered at work.
Her rehab turned into a love for training and desire to improve her physique.
She added: "We feel this has been needed and wanted in Dereham.
"People were chasing us to sign up long before we were even open. The pre-sale went really well, and since we opened up we've had lots more coming in to sign up."
There is still work to be done at Sanctuary, with toilets and showers set to be added in the coming days.
For now, the gym is only open during the daytime, but will become a 24-hour facility in the new year once a biometric entry system has been installed.
While satisfied to see the doors open, Miss Blaver admitted the journey had been far from smooth sailing.
"It has been stressful," she said. "It has been one delay after another and we've still got delays.
"We had kit delivered based on builder's promises, but obviously they have been let down with supply.
"In hindsight we would do things in a different order, but it's nice now to look around and feel proud of what we've achieved."