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Chokdee Academy wins National Fitness Award
IT’S Chok and soar after a York gym seized an “epic” national honour.
The Chokdee Academy run by husband and wife team Richard and Jo Cadden swept the board at the National Fitness Awards ceremony in Manchester to be crowned the combat zone gym of the year.
The victory in front of a packed and celebrity-studded audience ended three years of disappointment when the gym was each time nominated only to just miss out.
Richard Cadden, the former Acomb martial arts ace, who ruled the world with no fewer than two Thai-boxing world championships, said: “It is like a dream come true. My jaws are still hurting with all the smiling I’ve been doing.”
To land the coveted award the Chokdee gym, now housed on the Poppleton-based York Business Park, had to fend off competition from several national chains businesses, which was an even bigger feather in their cap, insisted Cadden.
“From the whole of the fitness industry in the United Kingdom, to get that level of recognition for a family-run gym in York is quite amazing,” he said.
“We’ve always been up against it these last three years, losing out to big corporate gyms, but now we are on top of the world. It was an epic night for us all in Manchester.”
Cadden said the appeal of Chokdee was not just in its all-encompassing training but in creating an atmosphere where he and his wife know all their clients’ names. His wife Jo runs her Yumi Mummy classes in which non-contact martial arts training is used to boost the well-being and welfare of pregnant women.
Said Cadden; “It’s not just the fact we offer a depth of coaching and care, it’s also the professional family feel that we offer. Jo and I know all our clients by names and that obviously pleased the judges.
“We offer training from right across the generations from toddlers at two years of age to 50 and 60 year-olds.
“We know that with Jo’s experience and fitness and my level of coaching in Thai-boxing that we are a well respected gym. It’s like Jo said, the award is just like winning “an Oscar”.
Valuable contacts made during the ceremony at which the award to the Chokdee Academy was made by Ace, one of the stalwarts of the Gladiator series, are also expected to aid the development of the gym.
“Big things are going to be happening here in the new year,” declared Cadden.
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