Party atmosphere at Area 51 gym opening

A new gym called Area 51 Urban Academy has opened its doors in Bolsover.

The non-profit making venture, which specialises in martial arts, dance, gymnastics and trampolining, opened with a party atmosphere on Saturday.

NDET 1-9-12 TW 3 Area 51 gym

NDET 1-9-12 TW 3 Area 51 gym

It has been funded by a group of parents of world champion martial artists from north Derbyshire and donations from local councillors.

Peter Griffiths, dad of world champion kick boxer Jack Griffiths, explained the reason behind the scheme.

He said: “We were sick and tired of handing out huge amounts of money to train at substandard facilities, so the group formed a constitution and decided to go it alone. A group of seven parents forked out £500 to pay for the initial outlay of mats.’’

In charge of coaching at Area 51 is Jessica Holmes, 25, and Oliver Bonnington, 18.

Jessica holds British, European and World crowns while Oliver is a British champion and a European silver medal winner.

Jack Griffith has 14 British titles, six European crowns and a world title and has recently completed filming a television commercial for the breakfast cereal Wheetos.

Other kick boxing aces whose parents have help fund the gym are British champion and European silver medal winner Ross Miller, 11, British champion and European silver medal winner Holly Bagshaw 11, Georgia Shaw, 16, the British and European champion and Theo Hall, 10, a British champion.

Some members will be travelling to Slovakia on Sunday to represent Great Britain at the World Kickboxing Championships.

Peter added: “The group’s aim is to provide an affordable and inclusive sports facility in Bolsover.’’

Area 51 Urban Academy is located at 4 Northgate Bolsover Business Park.