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Sheerness fitness coach vows to continue free bootcamp sessions with Sheppey Matters after no-one turned up

A volunteer coach is bouncing back after the first session of his free bootcamp had no attendees.

Bulent Mustafa organised Sweat It Out for young people aged 15 to 20 in Sheerness, with the support of charity Sheppey Matters and fellow coach James Wells.

His aim was to help keep young people active during the cost of living crisis, and bring the community together after the isolation many experienced during the coronavirus pandemic

But no-one turned up to the first session last Wednesday.

The 23-year-old said he wasn't disheartened when nobody attended and is gearing up for another session today.

He added: "I don't think we advertised it as much as we should have. But in a way I think that actually helped us, because we still took pictures, we actually had a little session ourselves. We posted that on our Facebook pages and everyone started sharing it.

Bulent, left, and James, right, at the empty training session
Bulent, left, and James, right, at the empty training session

After announcing on Facebook that nobody showed up to the first session, Bulent was met with hundreds of shares, and many messages from parents, grandparents, and young people themselves expressing interest in the bootcamp and showing support.

He said: "It was great. A lot of people want to make a change and all the people who were sharing, that really boosted morale. It made me think this is going to turn into something amazing."

The weekly two-hour sessions will involve a warm-up, the boot camp itself featuring team games and circuits, a cool-down, and then a 30 minute unwind.

During the last half an hour, the attendees will be given refreshments and a chance to discuss their plans for the future and seek help with any problems such as school work or responsibilities.

The equipment set up for the empty bootcamp
The equipment set up for the empty bootcamp

Sheppey Matters will be on-hand to provide advice and support to any young people who need it.

The full-time delivery driver, who also serves as a youth ambassador for the charity, has aimed the sessions at the age group he believed needed it most – those newly coming into responsibilities such as Year 11, college, university and moving out on their own.

He said he hopes the sessions can help them work through their problems and also provide a foundation for them to exercise without the cost of a gym membership.

Bulent said he thought the session wasn't advertised as much as it should have
Bulent said he thought the session wasn't advertised as much as it should have

The amateur boxer is juggling the bootcamp alongside his full-time job, three boxing sessions a week, being a father, and coaching another free weekly session called RunningSpace, which also takes place on Wednesdays.

He runs the Run To Save A Life Foundation on his own, and with the support of Sheppey Matters, he has taken part in six charity races, raised around £2,500 in cash, £150 in food donations, and additional clothes donations.

The bootcamp sessions will run at Sheerness Healthy Living Centre from 4.30pm until 6.30pm every Wednesday throughout August, before another six weekly sessions will take place at Leysdown Beach Hut from September.

Visit Bulent's Facebook page to find out more about the bootcamp sessions.

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