A Surrey high school teacher who works with at-risk youth is singing the praises of a Walnut Grove gym owner who stepped up to give some young troubled teens an experience they might otherwise not have gotten.
Jeremy Lendvoy is all too familiar with young teens — primarily boys — dropping out of school and/or getting involved in gangs.
Wanting to make a difference, the Queen Elizabeth Secondary school teacher launched an ‘After School Fitness Club’ three years ago.
“The goal of the program is to encourage healthy living and fitness to boys at risk to the gang life,” explained Lendvoy.
“One thing that really connects to these kids is sports and particularly, lifting weights.”
The club began with a couple of students those first few months, but since then has ballooned to about 40 or so youth this past school year.
Wanting to do something special for a handful of members as an end of the school year reward, Lendvoy attempted to arrange a visit at a proper gym.
“I wanted to have them experience what it is like to exercise and lift weights at a real gym,” he said.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons ranging from age restrictions, to the gyms wanting him to pay or insurance issues, none were able to accommodate his wish.
So when Adam Fedoriuk, who owns Total Fitness, heard about Lendvoy’s plight, he did not hesitate to step up.
Last week (June 26), Lendvoy took five youth to the gym, which is located on the second floor of the Langley Sportsplex.
“(The students) were on cloud nine after visiting,” Lendvoy said about the two and a half hour visit.
The teacher was ecstatic that someone with no obligations or direct ties to the program would step up and help out.
“Without any costs or restrictions, this Langley small gym owner welcomed my boys into his gym with open arms,” Lendvoy said. “He offered these inner city boys training and diet advice and even welcomed them with an honourary membership whenever they can make it for a workout.”