Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has joined forces with his children Arron and Alicia to launch a new state-of-the-art gym in his hometown of Oldham. The Scholes family have invested £500,000 on the huge 10,000 sq ft development on Lees Road in the town.
Designed by award-winning designer Mark Mason, Reds and England great Paul said the idea for a gym was born in lockdown when his fitness-fanatic family all took to working out in their back garden in Oldham. They decided to look for a location for a gym that would be welcoming to those keen to get fit as well as those wanting to really push their fitness levels with a series of state-of-the-art machines and fit classes.
The gym is being run by the Scholes siblings – 22-year-old Arron, a Level 3 qualified personal trainer, and 20-year-old sister Alicia, a part-time professional athlete playing netball for London Pulse and Level 3 qualified personal trainer. It is being billed as a “gym like no other”, with stylish interiors combined with vast windows and soft lighting providing a warm and inviting feel as well as a coffee shop area at the front of the building.
Bright neons and slogans aim to inspire gym-goers with messages like “Gains O’Clock” and “Stronger than Yesterday” inside the fitness studios. The gym features cardio, strength and conditioning machines, a wall of weights and a dedicated studio space spread over two floors.
The family took over and completely gutted the former tool hire warehouse on Lees Road to become the new state-of-the-art gym. Speaking on the importance of investing in the local community, Man United great Paul said: “Oldham is where I grew up and got a first taste of sport.
“To open Scholes Gym here is really important to me. It’s the sort of venue I dreamed of having access to back then and, along with Arron and Alicia, I’m pleased to be able to create it for others.”
Members also have access to a Batak reaction machine, a piece of kit rarely found outside of professional sports studios and applauded by elite sportspeople including Paul for improving reaction, hand eye coordination and stamina. Upstairs, an open decked area sees a range of cardio equipment with treadmills, assault bikes, rowers and ski ergs overlooking the floor.
Arron and Alicia will be leading private training sessions at the gym, alongside a qualified team of experts. Speaking on the launch, Arron said: ”After six months hard work it’s amazing to open the doors and welcome guests to Scholes Gym. It’s something Alicia and I have long talked of, and so to make it a reality is fantastic.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming guests and, along with our brilliant team, sharing our sports expertise. To have the opportunity to play a part in our members’ fitness journey and improving their mental and physical health is a privilege.”
Sibling Alicia added: “Gyms can often feel quite cold and functional spaces, we wanted to challenge that head on and create the type of warm and welcoming environment in which we as a family like to train; we’ve all contributed to the design. It’s early days but we’re really pleased by the response to date.”
Paul said of the idea: “It was born out of lockdown, we had a lot of time on our hands and we enjoyed working out in our back garden really. We thought it would be great to find a building in the area, we came across this building that needed a lot of work and was probably a bit bigger than we originally intended but we’ve created something we’re really proud of.
“We wanted to create something for the whole community to come in and use and enjoy.”
Paul and his children showed off their competitive side as they launched the gym on Tuesday in a series of sports challenges in the gym. Although Paul showed he’s still got plenty of power and that champion mentality when he competed in a rowing challenge – and won.
Paul laughed: “We are competitive as a family I suppose, things do get a bit lively! But we enjoy it all.
Paul, 47, added it was always important for he and wife Claire to get their children involved in exercise when they were growing up in Oldham. He said: “I always wanted my kids to be active and sporty, obviously I would never force them to do it but thankfully they wanted to do it, Arron has done great in football and Alicia in netball.”
And while Paul’s playing days may be over, he still likes to keep fit. As well as aiming to attend the gym three times a week, Paul also keeps fit with another sport in the local area.
He says: “I do try to keep reasonably fit. I play a lot of badminton in Middleton with friends which I enjoy and I call into the gym three or four times a week and come and use the equipment and have a chat.
“I think it’s a great place to come, even if you want to come and have a chat and a coffee or protein shake, it’s a great place. But the main aim is being good for the community, somewhere good for the community to come.
“It’s a great place for us, this is where we’re from and where the kids have lived all our lives and we just hope people can make use of it in this area.”
The launch sees partnerships established with local businesses including Ruger barbers and Hair Lounge in Oldham, with both companies providing a range of products for use in the impressive changing facilities, including Dyson hairdryers and styling equipment. The development took just over six months to complete with the family acquiring the site in September 2021 with seven local jobs created.
Memberships start from £40 per month for unlimited gym use and £50 per month including classes, with the gym open seven days a week. A day pass is available for £12.
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