A military couple have cast off their camouflage to go into business, opening a fitness suite in Longdowns near Penryn.

Husband and wife Suzanne Gibson MBE and Sandy Gibson have served 41 years combined in the Royal Navy. During their service – Suzanne as a Physical Training Instructor and Sandy as the same yet latterly re-training in Air Engineering – the couple have worked in fitness training and rehabilitation across a variety of forms, and are applying their passion and experience into Yoga and CrossFit classes for the public.

The new installation at Longdowns Industrial Estate includes a fresh, modern yoga studio and a large, fully-equipped unit or ‘Box’ as it is known in the terminology of CrossFit, one of the world’s fastest-growing training trends.

The facilities were officially opened on Saturday 29th November by Dave Pascoe, Captain of the Royal Navy Rugby Union Team, who said “Going it alone is not an easy choice for those leaving the Armed Forces, yet the Royal Navy’s pedigree in physical training is exemplary, so I have no doubt that Sue and Sandy will be as highly valued by civilian customers as they have been in the Service.”

The fitness suite has long been an ambition of the couple, and in the planning since Suzanne retired from the Royal Navy this summer, as a Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor, having completed 22 years of service.

“My passion for maintaining and developing a healthy body, and in tandem a healthy mind, has grown during my military career” said Suzanne Gibson. Specialising in Exercise Rehabilitation, I’ve helped injured people get back to normal activities post injuries or traumas, and yoga has been a core part of this. Indeed my own yoga journey started ten years ago when I suffered lower back pain during pregnancy. The fact I can now share these skills and experience with local people is exciting, and opening these doors today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and investment, so a very proud moment indeed”.

Neighbouring the yoga studio is the CrossFit facility, a large industrial unit that is equipped with a 20-ft free-standing rig, rowers, drive sleds, barbells and other weights. This fitness phenomenon is newly born out of the USA, and Jolly Sailor CrossFit will be the largest facility in Cornwall, and a registered affiliate of the global scheme.

“I have competed at CrossFit competitions for the Royal Navy and as an individual, and the scale of the movement globally is incredible. We wanted to build a facility that was on a par with some of the most established in the country, where we could work with experienced ‘CrossFitters’ and novices alike. We also expect to attract some visitors that are spending their holidays in Cornwall, as well as hosting our own competitions, possibly on one of our fantastic beaches, which hasn’t been seen before.” said Sandy Gibson.

Yoga and CrossFit sessions are offered at varying times throughout the week, and a first is offered free for new customers. More information can be found at www.bekarmayoga.uk and www.jollysailorcrossfit.uk.

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