A SPECIAL gym for the elderly in Cork is at risk of losing all of its equipment due to a lack of funding.
Gym owner, Colin O'Shaughnessy offers the service- which is also used by stroke survivors and MS sufferers across Cork - under the umbrella of his business Elite Gym. The initiative, situated in the Marina Commercial Park, offers reduced rates to those unable to afford training sessions.
Colin was provided with a loan from an anonymous donor which is due to be paid off in the upcoming weeks. However, he said it is unlikely they will be able to repay it and the equipment may have to be returned. The gym is currently the only one of its kind in Ireland.
"We are just weeks away from losing this," he said.
The entrepreneur is now appealing to the public for donations to enable them to keep the specialist equipment.
"We purchased the equipment from a company in Finland. Right now you won't find it anywhere else in Ireland. It's worth €100,000 altogether but it was given to us for €35,000 because of the work we do with people with spinal injuries. It's designed especially for senior citizens."
"We have had older people that couldn't hold their shopping bags before coming to us. If a person over 65 falls and breaks their hip they are five times more likely to die within that year which is a frightening statistic. This helps people get stronger.
Some of the men and women using this have never trained in their lives. It's also really beneficial for anyone recovering from surgery"
Colin is appealing for public donations to raise the €35,000 needed to keep the gym up and running.
"Our plan is to bring a busload of nursing home residents to the gym for an hour every week. The equipment is specially designed so you can't injure yourself. You can start at any level and there's no limits to where you can end up."
The businessman said he would also be open to corporate sponsorship.
"We would welcome any kind of sponsorship. Even if it meant changing the name of the gym we would be willing to do that. We will do whatever it takes to help more and more people."
For details on how to donate or discuss corporate sponsorship call Elite Fitness on 087 132 6600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org