A FITNESS champion is set to open a female-only gym to create a “safe place” for women and young girls to meet in Basingstoke.

Farah Fonseca, who lives in Basingstoke and has held major titles including Strongest Women in the World, will open Fonseca Fitness on Telford Road on Saturday, February 5.

The personal trainer said opening a fitness space is a dream come true, after renting out spaces to train for the past ten years.

She said: “I have competed in strong women competitions for the last six years and I have won England’s Strongest Women, Britain Strongest Women, and Worlds Strongest Women.

“I have always had to take my business through other people’s businesses, so I wanted to be able to create a hub for women and it has been a dream of mine for the past ten years.

“It is such a good feeling and seeing it come together has been amazing and I feel like it’s going to be a proper dream come true.”

A whole range of classes will be available including female self-defence classes and boxing, but the fitness fanatic hopes the new gym will become a “safe place for women in Basingstoke.”

“I am most excited about the community and to be able to create a safe space for women in Basingstoke and for young girls. To be able to teach younger girls what their bodies can do rather than what it looks like and to try to get them away from the social media craze. That whole community of creating a safe place, a place where women can go and discuss things that they might not be able to anywhere else is exciting for me,” she told The Gazette.

The champion said she feels inspired to work with so many women.

She added: “It is inspiring to help them complete their first squat or help them complete their first pull up. These are women who think they are just an everyday women and they come into the gym, and they think they are not able to do something.

“Within a few months they have put in the work, and they are completely surpassing all the goals that they set for themselves, it is great to be able to work with a whole host of different women.”