Bassetlaw veteran to run free ‘StreetGym’ classes alongside Uplift Retford

A Retford veteran will be running free StreetGym classes to empower people to confidently use their own surroundings for exercise and wellbeing.

Holistic well-being coach, John Watson Allison, while stationed in Iraq with the Army.
Holistic well-being coach, John Watson Allison, while stationed in Iraq with the Army.

John Watson Allison has been running the StreetGym in London for ten years and will be returning to his hometown this weekend to help empower people during ASICS’ and Mind’s Uplift Retford event.

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On Saturday September 25 and Sunday 26, John will be running two free sessions for 15 people each.

John worked as a health and wellbeing manager for two large London agencies and set up Motion to Mind in 2017 to coach people to overcome obstacles and move forward in life ‘physically and metaphorically’.

StreetGym is circuit training which uses your urban surroundings as bodyweight based workstations, such as architectural features, street furniture and gradients.

John Watson Allison said: “I'm all about showing people an alternative, and showing them that there is more to life than a gym membership or buying expensive equipment.

“Even the distance from home to the gym can be a barrier for some people. I think that to help people empower themselves, there needs to be low-cost or free options close to home.

A shot from one of John's StreetGym sessions in London.

“My grandfather, who survived right into his 90s said to me when I was a kid, if you’re ever feeling down, then get up and do something physical - and that's something that really stuck with me for many, many years, and it really inspires a lot of the work I do today.”

John enlisted into the Army at age 16 in 1987 and went on to serve for 24 years, specialising in the field of bomb disposal, counter-terrorist search and weapons Intelligence.

John said: “If I hadn't been physically fit, then I wouldn't have been able to endure some of the mental challenges that I face out there.”

Both events will start in the morning outside Sports Direct at Bridgegate Centre, in Bridgegate, Retford.

John will be running the free StreetGym events on September 25-26 in Retford.

For those who are unable to make it to the sessions, John is setting up a map of ‘workstations’ in Retford for residents to use as their own free circuit training in their own time, anytime.