Pete Pollard, a former marine, is the owner of the Hope Valley Health Club in Hathersage, a business he has built from scratch since 2008. He has, however, endured a series of health issues in recent years.
He defied the odds to return to full health after suffering a life-altering stroke, and made sure that regulars at his gym still received the highest quality of service throughout his recovery.
He then received another piece of devastating news in 2020 - that he had been diagnosed with Leukaemia - just weeks before the onset of the pandemic forced the closure of his gym.
Pete only told his family and a few close friends about his illness, but the combination of his battle with cancer and two years of Covid restrictions left him unable to manage the day to day running of his business.
Close friends Gary Bone – a former martial arts champion - and James Anderson – a former county tennis player - had already been giving their time for free to save the gym. Now, with Pete’s blessing, they are taking over the management of the Hope Valley Health Club to ensure that he is not left without any income as he continues his fight.
James said: “The gym was his only source of income. If the gym was allowed to shut, he’d be left with nothing. Launching this business was his dream and we want to ensure it thrives once more.
“Pete kept his illness very private but there’s no doubt existing gym members knew there was a problem because standards have slipped in recent months.
“We can promise that Hope Valley Health Club is now back and is set to be the very best it has ever been. From new equipment to new classes - please come and see us.”
The Hope Valley Health Club is holding an open day event, which is open to everyone, on Saturday, March 19 at 3pm. More information on the gym, including membership fees and classes, can be found at their website here.