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Viv moved to Ashburton 16 years ago after working as a teacher in Hawke’s Bay and identified a gap in the market for an all women gym in Ashburton.
‘‘I attended a Curves Gym and thought I’ll open one of those in Ashburton,’’ Viv said.
‘‘I knew nothing about running a gym, but because it’s a franchise you’ve got the support, so it was ideal.
‘‘The community were really supportive it was a great time.’’
Viv said there are a variety of reasons some women are not comfortable going to a co-ed gym.
‘‘A lot of it is about confidence, a lot is about working out in a different way than men do, so having a designated space is great.’’
Viv said the business brought her a lot of satisfaction over the years helping women with their fitness transformation.
‘‘It’s hugely satisfying, really positive with a cohort of women my age when I started, and now the younger women coming in who are not ready for big barn gyms, they come here and get a very good strength training circuit, and watching the long term change is exciting.
‘‘Sometimes when they are frustrated with their appearance or weight we look back through sixteen years of records and everything about them is healthier, their weight, their strength, their blood pressure.
Viv also observes the shortterm benefits of going to the gym.
‘‘Watching them come in after work and their chins are down and they are a bit glum, within 15 minutes they are different women.’’
Viv said it is important for women to go to the gym for muscle strength.
‘‘Women lose such a lot of muscle mass post menopause and if they don't do something to develop and maintain that muscle they are in strife, not only for strength but for osteoporosis, it’s very important.’’
The business will be sold as a going concern with Viv helping the new owners settle in.
‘‘It’s at an interesting stage, we’re working past covid, it hasn't been easy the past few years because of covid, now is the time for rebuilding,’’ Viv said.
‘‘I’m looking to pass this on as an operating business, I don't want it to close.
‘‘I've got amazing members, forty percent have been here for more than 10 years, I’ve got women who joined the first week who are still members.’’
Viv said although Curves is a franchise there is the potential to buy it independently, rebrand and develop without franchise restrictions, but it would be important to keep it as a women's gym.
‘‘It would be absolutely vital, we have that niche, the only one in Ashburton.’’
Viv has plenty of plans for her retirement, including sport, spending time with grandchildren ‘‘and I want to learn Mahjong. I've also been encouraged to put my name down for Citizens Advice Bureau, there is plenty to do.’’
If you are interested in learning more, contact Viv on 021 165 3677.