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I-Fitness has committed N1.2Bn in investment to make fitness a business of choice in Port Harcourt.
The Port Harcourt investment is coming in three centres with the first in Trans-Amadi area which opened Saturday, February 18, 2023.
The new PH Centre is currently indicated as the largest fitness center in Nigeria sitting on an acre of land with internal space is 1,650sqm as well as an outdoor gym space of 120sqm, according to technical details made available by the founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Folusho Ogunwale. The centre has on display an array of cardio and strength training equipment and standard changing rooms.
It was also gathered at the opening ceremony that members of i-Fitness Centre Limited have their subscription managed on a mobile app which grants them access to several other branches of i-Fitness both in and out of Port Harcourt, something some of the members interviewed said attracted them to register.
The Port Harcourt branch of the firm focused on improving health and wellness is its 19th branch with the 20th said to be set to opened by the end of February 2023. The CEO said the number would go up to 26 branches by end of 2023.
Ogunwale told newsmen that establishing the PH branch is to promote the culture of health and wellness and very importantly to provide enabling environment where the people of the Garden City can network, connect with friends, live happier, and live healthier.
To strengthen the culture of fitness in PH, he said, the centre is planning to open two more fitness centers with total investment commitment in Port Harcourt put at over N1.2Bn.
He said the idea is to make fitness common and affordable. “It is also to make it close to work and close to home so people can imbibe the fitness culture and touch thousands of lives.”
He said I-Fitness is tech-driven so that fitness is effortless for people. “We deliberately care for multi-locational access. We work hard to make it available so anywhere you travel to in Nigeria and soon in West Africa, you get access, you get access just by same membership registration.”
The CEO who was a banker said: “We take very good care of our trainers and we keenly exercise discipline and diligence in their selection and training.
“They are pure professionals with all kinds of certifications. They are there to guide and coach each client. Thus, if you want extra service, a person personal trainer will be attached to you. Safety within the gym is guaranteed against accidents.”
He gave hint on what the future of I-Fitness would look like, starting from Port Harcourt. “We are deploying three fitness centres, staring from this one in Trans-Amadi. Going further, by end of this year, we would be in six more locations in Nigeria. By 2024, we start going to West African cities starting with Ghana.”
Some of the members in the new centre showed excitement at the array of glittering machines beckoning them into the expansive hall as the tape was cut.
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Sandra Okoli said she knew them elsewhere and that she is certain that she would use the centre to get back to fitness and get the shape and flat tummy she desired.
She said: “Body maintenance is desirable, not a luxury. It enhances one’s health. Keeping fit is very important. People must make time to work out. It helps to avoid health issues.”
Speaking to BusinessDay, an engineer, Lad Jacob, said: “Keeping fit is a business. Fitness is paramount. Many people lack information. When you start aging and you want to get sick before you begin to look for remedies, that is a disaster.
“To lose your health is a bottle but to gain your health is a battle. Chasing money all week without planning fitness into your schedule is wrong. If you fail to make out time to fitness, you make time to go to hospital. In either way, you will pay for it.”