The Fitness Factory family - a boxing gym with a twist

Research conducted by Sport England revealed that 75 per cent of women would like to exercise more but fear being judged by their appearance or ability.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 9:04 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:12 am
Chesterfield fitness factory members boxing for heroes. jodi Bennett and Cath Marriott.

And across the UK two million fewer women than men take part in sport and regularly exercise.

But Shaun Grafton, owner of Chesterfield-based boxing gym the Fitness Factory says Chesterfieldian ladies are currently bucking this trend.

“I would say 70 per cent of our members are women aged between 16-55,” said Shaun.

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Chesterfield fitness factory members boxing for heroes. Owners of Fitmess factory Shaun and Sharon Grafton.

“We have a very wide variety of people of all shapes and sizes - some are larger ladies and some are smaller but everyone who comes to the classes calls us the Fitness Factory family.

“Many of our women members come here because they don’t feel comfortable at normal gyms but we really look after them.”

But Shaun was keen to stress that what the Fitness Factory offers is not ‘boxercise’.

He added: “This is a proper boxing gym but with a bit of a twist - we do boxing-based, high-cardio workouts with pad-work, bags and sparring.

Chesterfield fitness factory members boxing for heroes.

“But everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace - we make everyone work but are conscious that not everyone is at the same level.

“And we have three-four trainers, all British Boxing Board of Control-trained, at any given time looking after people and keeping them motivated.”

Fitness Factory members join the club for a variety of reasons, some are ex-offenders working on turning their lives around, while others are substance abusers fighting their addictions and Shaun likes to think of the gym as a place where people can turn their lives around.

And as a community gym he decided to set up a charity boxing organisation after hearing about problems faced by ex-servicemen through a friend.

Chesterfield fitness factory members boxing for heroes. Owners of Fitmess factory Shaun and Sharon Grafton.

Shaun, an ABA-qualified trainer with 50 amateur fights under his belt - set up Boxing 4 Heroes - a charitable organisation raising money for ex-servicemen - three-and-a-half years ago.

The scheme invites people who have often never boxed before to train for free over a period of eight weeks at Fitness Factory for an amateur fight night.

In exchange they are asked to set up a Just Giving fundraising page with all proceeds going to Derbyshire Veterans through the Chesterfield Community Trust.

Boxing 4 Heroes has raised more than £35,000 for ex-veterans so far.

Chesterfield fitness factory members boxing for heroes.

The next show in Chesterfield is on May 7 at the Proact with 20 bouts on the night but for anyone who is thinking this all seems a bit risky then fear not.

“We are the only charitable organisation allowed to put on shows in Chesterfield because our health and safety is that good,” said Shaun.

“We have paramedics at the side of the ring and health and safety and the police are fully behind us.”

To find out more about the Fitness Factory or Boxing 4 Heroes visit