A NEW gym has opened its doors in Heybridge and is hoping to spread its inclusive message.

Legends Gym has set up at the Old Maltings Industrial Estate, in Hall Road.

The passion project is a not-for-profit business which aims to combine a boxing club with other fitness programs such as crossfit training, personal training, powerlifting and jiujitsu.

The idea was born when father-daughter team Grzegorz “Greg” Krzyzanowski and Martyna Jackowska became friends with Maldon Boxing Academy’s Leon Jared.

After deciding to expand, the trio sought a new home first in Mayland, where the boxing club was based, and then in Maldon.

But after three failed planning applications and appeals, the team found its home in Heybridge and opened the doors in September.

Martyna, 30, is a boxing coach and set up the first female squad in Maldon.

She said: “We’re lucky that we have met such lovely people here. We have got the right crowd of passionate people.

“We thought if we start a venture with the gym, we have Leon’s reputation to build confidence.

“We had my dad come in and be a personal trainer, a passion he’s had for about ten years.

“The opportunity came up and we thought ‘Shall we try it?’”

The trio have achieved the dream thanks to funding.

They secured £1,000 after winning the High Sheriff’s award and were awarded £10,000 from Sport England. Leon, 43, is Maldon Boxing Academy’s head coach and has been coaching for 20 years.

He said: “It’s been a long time coming. First day we opened our doors, we were snowed under.

“Hopefully with more funding in the new year, we can work with more schools and community groups.

“We’re looking to work with the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain on a project called Contender, a mentoring project for troubled youths.

“My ambition is for us to become a centre of excellence for the eastern counties.”

Greg, 50, is a crossfit trainer who moved from Poland to Maldon more than a decade ago and worked as a carer.

A back injury left him unable to work and he was on crutches for six months.

But he overcame his injury with exercise and since then, has gone on to achieve his personal training qualifications while working as a banquet manager.

“This project started because of our way of thinking and our combined passion,” he said.

“We wanted to create something unique for the district so that people can come here and find what they want to do.

“We’ve got a saying in Poland: you can also get fed with a small spoon instead of a big spoon. We keep the prices low to leave something for the community.

“We have put everything in it, this is basically our lives.”

Adam Fosbrook, 26, a personal trainer and powerlifting coach from Maldon, uses the gym as well as volunteering his time by giving powerlifting classes.

He said: “I’ve come from a troubled background and I’ve pulled through thanks to fitness and powerlifting which gives a good discipline.

“My vision is to get young people into a disciplined sport to keep their mind active and get all their anger out in the right place.”

The gym has several future plans including more female boxing sessions, workout classes for older people.

It also plans to collaborate with schools in the area including Plume Academy and Heybridge Co-operative Academy.