Anyone passing Stave Hill of a weekday evening – Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at present – can’t miss the herd of enthusiastic bodies running, jumping, stretching or otherwise being active as part of Bootcamp SE16. One of the great success stories of the area, Bootcamp SE16 has grown from small beginnings in 2013 to a very active and vibrant club today. The founder of Bootcamp SE16 and their main coach Stephanie Jannati talked me through the way the business has developed.
Where did Bootcamp come from?
“I lived in SE16 for eight years and still love it’s peace and green spaces. I was working for a property company at the time as well as doing fitness classes in different places across the city. Selling SE16 as then an unknown corner of the city, I got to know the people in the area and particularly when out walking my dog in Russia Dock Woodland,” explained Steph. “I started a group session in the park in 2011 but after a particularly wet and windy winter, it folded. My work at Canary Wharf gyms and elsewhere across London grew and my interest in property sales declined until in 2013, I went full-time as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. I took on some clients in their own home, taught some classes in corporate gyms and freelanced in Canary Wharf but it was all indoors and I became quite isolated and lonely. As a consequence, I started the Bootcamp SE16 in August 2013 and that’s changed my whole life!”
“…I’d like to hold a class for 6-8 year olds and another for 9-11 year olds. I might run one and invite a local PE teacher to run the other…”
Growing in different sessions
“We were six in the first class but quite quickly – mostly by word of mouth – the numbers swelled. Some talked about the session at work and others with family members. I was still working in the gyms and taking classes elsewhere so the thing could grow organically. Over the last two and a half years, we’ve had about 650 people try out Bootcamp and we currently have about 100-115 coming along regularly. We run sessions for all sorts of people and at different times of the week. Our busiest times are the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when we run two sessions: Monday anaerobic training, Tuesday functional fitness and Wednesday strength training. Our morning Yummy Mummy sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays for new mums have proved very popular. We offer an all round Boxfit session on Thursday evenings too. On Saturdays, we do two morning sessions: Core and stretch and then drills and circuits. On Sunday, we offer one session for athletic enhancement with Luke. It’s a busy timetable!”
“…The variety of exercises is endless as not only have we loads of compound, body-weight exercises but we can also use a huge range of equipment to give everyone a fun session at their own level of fitness…”
Mix it up
“Each session is unique. After we use Stave Hill to warm up and do some mobility exercises, then we normally pair up and do a drill for about 45 minutes. At the end, we cool down and stretch. The variety of exercises is endless as not only have we loads of compound, body-weight exercises but we can also use a huge range of equipment to give everyone a fun session at their own level of fitness. There is a real range of ages, cultures and ability so everyone feels welcome. We also have different trainers taking the classes now, which add new styles and personalities to the mix. As I’m just starting two months of maternity leave [ed: we wish you very well Steph!], we’ve now got a team of six trainers all of whom I know will do a fantastic job.”
Starting them young
“When I’m back from my break, I hope we can start classes aimed at kids. When it’s half-term, the mums often bring along their youngsters and they can join in with what mum’s doing. There are lots of activities locally for primary children – like gymnastics, football and dance classes – but they are all so over-booked. I’d like to hold a class for 6-8 year olds and another for 9-11 year olds. I might run one and invite a local PE teacher to run the other. Setting it up will be challenging, as there are many complex issues to sort out such as extended insurance and DBS checks. But it would really address some of the key health concerns about our young people and obesity.”
“The whole crew at Bootcamp SE16 are amazing; we get so much support from each other! Some of the stories people tell on our website about their experience through joining Bootcamp are really extraordinary. And we’ve had loads of new marriages and babies out of the friendships formed at the sessions. It’s so fun, enjoyable and friendly!”
Stephanie Jannati M: 07803 721 620 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bootcamp SE16 bootcampse16.co.uk
Prices are shown on the website where you can book your session online
[Photos are from Stephanie Jannati – used with permission]