When Leslie Gurr moved back to Nanton after being away for many years she set her heart on opening a gym.

Many people told her it wouldn't be successful in such a small town.

However an impressive showing by members of the Decidedly Fit gym at the Canadian Powerlifing Federations Winter Warm Up competition at Evolve Strength in Edmonton shows she's on the right path.

Her group earned 11 first place finishes, and broke 14 national records.

Powerlifting is a combination of squats, bench presses and deadlifts, which are judged by three people.

Decidedly Fit entered men and women in all weight classes, the youngest competitor was 12 and the oldest was 48.

When she opened the Decidedly Fit one of her goals was to reach out to children.

She noticed in the time she was away sports in the community, while still important, was lacking some direction.  

"In years past we produced a lot of athletes. We had key figures in our community, we had George Wright, we had Tom Hornecker, and we had my father Bill Greig."

"They really allowed athletes to have opportunities to go beyond and get to high levels."

Under their guidance Nanton had several athletes reach the next level including professional hockey players, swimmers, baseball, golf and tri atheletes.

Gurr hopes to fill that void and mentor students, to do that she is providing dry land training for kids hockey, baseball, figure skating and swimming.

"We are trying to get kids mentored and get them believing in something bigger," she said.

And for the adults in the community looking for a challenge the gym has a powerlifting team, a body-building stage team, a cross-fit team and a spartan team.

Training is well under way as 17 people are heading to the Canadian National Championships in Prince George in May.

Gurr is thankful for the community support and the success of the gym so far.

"This town has embraced it so we're looking forward to throwing more and new things at the town to see how it goes."

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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