Get sweaty at Pride Park Stadium's 'nightclub' gym Funktion Fitness
MOST people who go to Pride Park Stadium turn up to watch the players sweat – but soon visitors to the home of Derby County will be able to feel the burn for themselves at a new gym.
Funktion Fitness is due to open a gym in the south-west corner of the stadium on Saturday.
The gym, in what was previously a warehouse, has been fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment, including the latest exercise machines and a weights area.
Funktion Fitness first submitted proposals for the gym to Derby City Council in September, after running a series of exercise classes in Derby nightclub Syn.
When the nightclub closed, Jon Leonard, who ran the club sessions started looking for a permanent base.
He said: "I looked at several buildings but they were the usual square units and not very exciting. When the opportunity came up to base a gym in a football stadium, I jumped at the chance.
"Derby County have been absolutely great in terms of helping me move in. There is just a great vibe about the place, which fits in really well with what my business is all about."
According to Mr Leonard, Funktion Fitness will be different from other gyms.
The 32-year-old said: "So many modern gyms are bright white, there's lots of mirrors and it can feel like people are on show a bit.
"Funktion Fitness will feel more like a nightclub – but not as dark as a nightclub."
As well as a cardiovascular area, which will include treadmills, stepping and rowing machines and exercise bikes, the gym will have a large studio for classes, with a DJ providing music.
Jon has also put together a team of fitness instructors and personal trainers to help and support members. At any one time, there will be five members of staff on site.
He said: "It's crucial that members are kept motivated - and it is no use having the latest fitness machines if no-one teaches members how to get the best out of them. We will put a big emphasis on customer service."
Just because the gym is based at Pride Park Stadium, members do not necessarily have to be football fans.
Jon, who has in the past held white-collar boxing events at the stadium, said: "The gym will be for everyone. So far, we have taken 400 online memberships and we haven't even opened yet.
"Of course, being on Pride Park has a number of advantages. It's easy to get to and there is plenty of parking at the stadium.
"But it is also home to hundreds of businesses and I'm hopeful that we will get a number of people who work on Pride Park joining up."
Lisa Biesty, commercial director at Derby County, said: "We're delighted to welcome Jon and the Funktion Fitness Gym facility into Pride Park Stadium. Jon's fresh approach to gym facilities and members' motivation really stood out when we met him and will no doubt prove a successful combination that will see the Funktion brand as a long-term partner of Derby County."