Mandurah-based boxing champion Danny Heyes has hung up the gloves and opened his own gym to train keen locals.
Having notched up 120 fights in his boxing career, the Australian champion has a wealth of knowledge to offer the Mandurah community.
Heyes said he and his wife Kelly had dreamt of opening their own gym for the past two years.
“We’ve wanted to set up a gym for a couple years now but we’ve only really started looking properly in November last year,” Heyes said.
“It took a long time. We got knocked back a few times. We’ve had a lot of hassle because a lot of people have thought that a ‘boxing gym’ is going to attract a bad crowd of people.”
“A couple of the owners thought we associate with bikies. We don’t. We’re a family gym. We’re family orientated.”
The gym, located along Park Road, has been fitted out with various equipment to cater for classes and individual training sessions.
While the gym is still building its membership base, Heyes said he has received keen interest and positive feedback from the broader community.
“We’ve got a lot of interest at the moment,” he said.
“It's not all boxing. We’ll have fitness classes and we’ll also have boot camps. Actually, 90 per cent of people that come here never wants to fight they just do it for a bit of fun and fitness.”
Kelly and good friend Bryce Savell will accompany Heyes as the main coaches at the gym.
With qualification from the prestigious Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Heyes said he and his wife had a lot to offer their members.
The duo who met at the Billy Dower Youth Centre said they “lived and breathed boxing” and that they looked forward to sharing their knowledge with the community.
The youth centre only accepts members over the age of 10 and under 25.
At Fighter Fit Boxing members can be any age, as long as they’re over four-years-old.
“We have a lot of people over the age of 50 that want to do boxing as well,” Heyes said.
“The oldest person we have training with us is 74.”
The pair said they hoped the gym would become a community and welcomed members of all ages and abilities.
“All our members are amazing. It’s like a little family. You’re not just a number,” Heyes said.
“We don’t want people thinking it’s just a boxing gym and feeling very intimidated.
“We’re dealing with a lot of mental health at the moment a lot of anxiety and depression. Normally in males.
“Coming here helps them to get a bit of anger and aggression out.
“That’s what I enjoy doing most. Seeing the difference in a guy that comes to me and then six months later you see him completely different and he hasn’t got depression anymore.
“It’s not very nice but it’s pretty rewarding at the end of the day.
“Other people it just gives them a bit of confidence that they can look after themselves if they really needed to.”
For more information on the gym and how to get involved visit their Facebook page or call 0404 874 367.
Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.