STORY | January 29, 2020

Wherever you take training

We left the fancy gyms behind and shined a light on places that most of us have never heard of. These are not ordinary places but extraordinary places people take running. It’s time to tell their stories, in a journey that will take you from the rural countryside to the city suburbs. From community to community. Wherever you take training, we are with you with the enthusiasm, advice and products for you.

“Wherever You take Training” take viewers on a fascinating journey through some of the most unique and interesting communities in sport. Learn more why places and communities are important for everyday athletes.

From the stereotype-busting presence of Scotland’s strongest woman Emma-Jane Smith, to inner city London community champion Foysol Miah, training kids at the Steel Warriors gym made from upcycled melted down knives. Here are their inspiring stories:

EMMA-JANE SMITH

This is the story of Emma-Jane, an incredibly inspiring woman who exceeded all expectations by breaking the barriers built by those who told her what she could and couldn’t do, who she could and couldn’t be. Emma took inspiration from her life in the Scottish countryside and her passion for breaking difficult horses into her training practice. Emma-Jane wanted to be stronger to ride better and more often. “I’ve always got a hunger to push myself.” She started training at her local gym but a few people made her feel out of place. “You have to be really careful about who you surround yourself with… to prove them wrong, I did better than I did before. That’s when I won the European championship.” She decided to build her own gym in her barn where she can focus on herself. “It reminds me how independent I am and how strong I can be on my own.” She calls it being “Farm Strong”. “Nobody tells you how to do that correctly… I just want to be the best that I can be. I want to keep pushing a bit further, I want to keep showing a new benchmark.” “It makes me feel really happy when I push myself. I can achieve great things and hopefully can inspire people along the way.” She found her community. A strong network of supportive friends. “It made me a lot stronger.”

She then went on to become Scotland’s strongest woman surprisingly early in her training journey, and made history by being the first ever woman to lift the historic Dinnie stones bare-handed. A total weight of over 333kg! “Being Scottish, the history of the stones meant so much to me…I am going to lift them again!” When asking Emma-Jane what message she would like to share with the world she replied: “You have to make sure you always celebrate yourself and little moments. Have fun, see what happens. It’s a great thing to feel like you accomplish something personally.” “You have to be aware of what you are thinking in your sport practice or even in everyday life to make sure you can achieve what you want to achieve. It does take practice to believe in your abilities.”

FOYSOL MIAH

Foysol Miah is a rare character whose biggest ambition is to give local youth a positive purpose through training. “Sport is a wonderful thing, it breaks barriers, it gives them an identity. It brings people together, it brings the best out of people.” Originally from Bangladesh and now a true Londoner and dad of four, Foysol says his kids are his inspiration and drive for doing his best in the world everyday. “A child needs to feel special, they need to build confidence to be the best version of themselves. I am fascinated by how you put a seed into the ground and it can turn into something. It’s the same thing with a kid and with a plant. What you put in is what you get.”

While training, Foysol was approached by local teenagers, asking for advice. He started with a small group and soon realised how much impact the work he was doing with them had on their life. “All the youth centres are closing down. They haven’t got anything to put their energy into. By working with them, putting down a foundation, we can try to minimise the problem.“ “We started a little family loving group thing, we went from there. Everything I taught is from the heart!” He set out to build a collective and called it G5 BarStarz (@g5_barstarz) “To burn off all the aggression, burn off the bad energy and turn it into positive energy.” The support Foysol gives is beyond basic training advice. He gives his BarStarz guidance on their diet and shares wise advice on the value of responsibilities and commitment . “It’s like self-defence for your self-esteem.” They train at the outdoor Steel Warriors gym in Poplar in London, a charity dedicated to reducing the number of young people carrying knives in the UK. They melt down knives taken off the streets and turn them into free calisthenic gyms. “It’s a movement and it’s infectious.

We all know the children are the future, we need to build a better future, a better environment, build programs to stimulate their minds and to believe in themselves. Encourage them to do their best in this world.” An important message Foysol would like to share with the world: “To succeed on this journey, we need more funding for the youth, more youth projects. It would be a wonderful thing for me if we could get support and guidance from professionals and from big organisations. I hope to start a movement where other people around the world get involved.”