A LESBIAN, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) exercise class has been set up in Sunderland.
The new fitness sessions aim to forge links with the community while offering a top-notch get-fit experience.
The LGBT classes have been set up by Carl Conifey, 22, of Red House, who recently founded his own business, Meso Fitness.
Using a mixture of circuit training, boxercise and Carl’s own creation, resistance blast, the classes aim to give the LGBT community a chance to work out in a safe environment where people can make friends.
Carl said: “I think from different feedback from those in the LGBT community, people have always wanted to meet others in the same situation as themselves.
“It can be a good way to meet new people and date.”
Carl said he has battled to build up his business after struggling to find a job when he graduated from Sunderland University.
The former sport and exercise development student stacked shelves in Asda before making a break for it and setting up his new business venture.
Carl sees it as a chance for people from any sexual orientation to come together.
“It’s hopefully going to create understanding and get rid of any negative stereotypes with the general public. I don’t want to segregate anybody. You don’t have to be gay or lesbian to come along.”
He added: “I think it’s come at the right time because the Government is trying to push forward gay marriage and strive for more equality so it’s a good time to start a class like this.
“It’s a chance for people who don’t just want to meet people on a night out in town, they can socialise in North Shore after the class where we will have smoothies and get to know different people.”
Jonathon Fraser, 24, from South Shields, has been going to the classes since they started.
The PGCE student said: “I find it great. I think sometimes people don’t really feel that comfortable in the gym.
“It’s good to have somewhere where everybody is welcome but that’s also tailored to the LGBT community.”
The newly-converted fitness fan said that the class offers the LGBT community something different.