Today marked another installment of the Flyknit Collective workshops at the newly revamped Aske Gardens in East London as Chaka Bars and the mighty Spartan Fam came together to celebrate the power of fitness in the burning summer sunshine. For those still entrenched in traditional gym culture The Spartan Fam is a collective of individuals from Underground London who meet on Fridays at Nike 1948 London in the pursuit of fitness under the watchful eye of Chaka Bars and his team. Ex soldier, boxer and now personal trainer Chaka bars has been on my radar for many years now and it’s good to see his vision coming together in such a spectacular fashion. Chaka is another one of the charges who I Informally mentor and It was myself and Bangs and a Bun from Spikes And Heels who introduced him to the Nike family when he moved down to London from his home town of Leeds at the end of last year.
Turning his back on the sterile atmosphere of weights, protein shakes and gym culture Chaka and his crew advocate the simple things in life focusing on body weight training, positive vibes and good diet. Talking loud and saying much, his body is a business card proclamation to the sceptics that his theories really do work and it’s no surprise that people are pricking up their ears, cancelling gym membership and heading to his classes.
Buried deep in East London the once forgotten playground of Aske Gardens has been revamped by Nike as part of it’s Flyknit Collective Initiative and today saw the Spartan Fam takeover for an afternoon of training classes,food and music for the Fam and the community. Nuff heads in the house from many different walks of life and lovely to see a once neglected space being used by so many people. As we move forward after the immense sporting achievements of the Summer spaces such as Aske Gardens are going to be increasingly important in the fight to get more people active and off the sofa and If I know one thing from the success of Run Dem is that it’s not enough to provide facilities in a community as without creative and inspirational instructors these spaces are often left unused. What I like about the Aske Gardens regeneration is the none prescriptive nature of the space as it leaves much to the imagination as to what activities can be carried out from there. Today was definitely a good example with a tennis court turned into a sprint track, outdoor gym and Tug Of War arena in the space of 30 mins. If anything today was inspirational and infectious and there are definitely lessons to be learned from how the Spartan Fam Roll and engage with the younger generation. My kids loved it and the kid in you will too. Follow Chaka on Twitter here, and The Spartan Fam website here. #ahoo