Planet Fitness is hosting a cyclethon tomorrow in aid of The Smile Foundation. We caught up with Denise who is the founder of the charity cyclethon in South Africa.
What got you started in spinning?
I was in USA in 1996 at a converence and that’s where I saw Johnny G. He knew spinning wasn’t in South Africa and was keen to introduce it. He eventually worked on it, met people he could do business with and eventually got a few bikes imported to our country. I was one of the first six people who started training and am a Masters Instructor and then started a business with my partner.
What was the response when you first started it in SA? Were people skeptical?
People loved it; we started off with two classes, one at night and the other is one in the morning. It became such a hit that we had to increase the classes to six per day.
Spinning is now a huge part of the gym environment. Did you expect it to have grown so quickly and to be in so many gyms 20 years later?
Yes I did, I have been in sports all my life and saw the potential of spinning when it started, I knew it would be an instant hit. It’s great because you can do it indoors and outdoors.
What is your favourite thing about spinning?
I love the vibe and energy around it, the fact that you can’t get injured if your bike is set up correctly and the music. I also like spinning because it works well for heart rate training.
How did you come up with the idea for the charity cyclethons?
I have been doing Cyclethons for charities since 1996 every year. I started with Hospice Wits whom I still support and now also the Smile Foundation. I also do Kiddies Cycle races for charity. The Cyclethon has gone National. PE, JHB, Cape Town and Umhlanga, KZN. My dad had cancer so that was enough motivation to get me started to give back.
Tell us a little about the cyclethon for The Smile Foundation
I think combining things you love for a good reason is always a great idea. I have always been active and I fell in love with spinning the minute I tried it and that’s why I took started teaching it. As said my dad had cancer and I guess giving comes naturally to my heart. I started small with Hospice Wits who I still support. I then started with the Smile Foundation and have been working with them ever since. There are a lot of children who get helped by the foundation and I think any little help that is possible.
How can people get involved by cycling or donating to the cause?
People can buy tickets on www.webtickets.co.za or just donate and not cycle.
If you would like to join them tomorrow be sure to book your ticket now!