Father-daughter duo open pole therapy studio in Wigan township
A father and daughter have opened a new Wigan pole fitness studio aimed as much at improving mental wellbeing as bodies .
Tony McAleavy and Shannon Fitzgerald have been taking part in this form of exercise for five years and have taught at various places in Salford.
The pair have now opened a multi-purpose studio on Garswood Street in Ashton, which focuses on both physical and mental health.
Tony said: “We worked at a few other places teaching pole and acro like in dirty dancing.
"We then went into lockdown and started doing things online while we tried to find the right place at the right money because places in Ashton are so expensive.
"We’ve set up here and it’s been really good.
"We’ve had some help that we are really grateful for.
"We’d like to thank Kieran Bowe, Jay from Fitworks gym equipment, Paul from Signism and Micheala and Mike from Pall Mall carpets. They have all made our vision happen.”
“A lot of people get the wrong impression of pole and we want to change that.
"You don’t have to be great to start, you just have to start to be great.”
Despite offering a variety of fitness classes, the pair consider The Studio to be more a wellness centre rather just solely based on fitness.
They are hoping that at some point in the near future to offer a pole therapy session once a week which will be free.
Tony said: “Most of our students from the other places struggled with their mental health, had eating disorders or fell in love with the wrong person.
"When they come to us they get respite for an hour.
"Apparently when we hang people upside down on these poles for an hour it makes them forget all their worries!
"Before lockdown at the old place, we were in talks with Bolton and Salford council about sending referrals for those with mental health problems.
"Our studio is like a safe haven.
“We will be offering a pole therapy class on either a Tuesday or Thursday morning and that class will be free.
"We never want money to be an issue so people can come and try it out and see how it goes.