Fitness instructor Gemma Drinkald has set up GD Sports Massage with support from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).
Jane Imrie

Fitness instructor flexes entrepreneurial muscles with new venture

A North East-based fitness instructor has launched her own sports therapy business with support from North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

Having taught classes for women’s fitness brand Skinnypigs for the last four years, fitness instructor Gemma Drinkald set up her own venture, GD Sports Massage, after identifying a need for therapeutic massage services.

Gemma explained: “When I was teaching my classes, I had so many people asking for support with their injuries, posture and general aches and pains and I thought there must be a gap in the market for a service that can support them, so I decided to study for my sports massage qualifications and set up GD in order to do just that.”

Gemma approached the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), who provided business support as well offering Gemma a unit at its Sunderland base.

Gemma added: “The unit I’ve managed to secure at the BIC is great, as it has plenty of space and has allowed me to set up a studio which is really suited to the support we offer,” she said. “The staff have been fantastic too, I couldn’t ask any more from them.

GD Sports Massage launched earlier this month, securing 15 bookings in its first week of operation.

Donna Surtees, centre manager at the BIC, commented: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Gemma to the BIC and we are confident she’ll prove a huge hit. To have had so many bookings in her first week is testament to the reputation she has built up over recent years.

“We’ve worked hard over recent years to put health and well-being at the heart of everything we do here at the BIC and to have Gemma join us will really help enhance our offering. We wish her all the best for the future.”

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