COLUMBIA, S.C. — One local gym in Columbia is helping train young athletes for free during the coronavirus pandemic so they can prepare for their athletic season.
Max Speed Performance Fitness is a gym in Columbia. They train anyone from the ages of 5-years-old to 19-years-old athletes.
Warren Eure is a manager and trainer at the indoor-training facility.
"Our club track team, trying to find a way to get a lot of our kids that weren't doing other sports a way that they could train in the off-season," said Eure. "Not only kids just from the track, but from every sport to be able to train."
The gym thought it was important to have something available for kids in the area to work hard and get better. Some of the kids the gym have trained have gone onto the college level.
"There's not too many training facilities that kids can actually go to and train," explained Eure. "We thought why not open up the doors and give these kids as many opportunities as we can to help them develop and grow as athletes and individuals."
Chase Smith is one of the athletes who train at the gym.
"Came here to get faster, more explosive, be able to move quicker and let it translate over into football and to the game," said Smith.
Smith plays as a Wide Receiver at Blythewood High School.
He says it's been difficult to find places to train because of the coronavirus.
"It's definitely been tough. Missing out on opportunities to get better, get faster and quicker," explained Smith.
The Max Speed Performance Fitness gym had to shut down for a couple of months due to Governor Henry McMaster's order during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since being allowed to reopen, the gym has taken several precautions to help protect both athletes and staff. When anyone comes to the indoor-facility, they have to have their temperatures checked. Staff is wiping down and cleaning equipment. Trainers are also wearing masks while giving instruction.
The gym has also limited the amount of kids they do train to keep sessions to a safe amount of people.
Smith says he's been happy to be able to get back and work with his coaches at the gym and it's making an impact on his development as a player.
"A huge difference. Cutting down 40 times, getting faster, lateral quickness and things like that," said Smith. "You should put in the work now and not feel sorry for yourself so you wouldn't feel like you didn't do your best and things like that. You don't want to have any regrets. You want to be the best you can be, as fast as you can be and as strong as you can be."
Many young athletes are putting in the hard work now so they can hopefully earn a scholarship to play on the collegiate level.
Max Speed Performance Fitness has trained some athletes for free during the coronavirus pandemic. With families hitting hard time times during the COVID-19 situation, the gym says they wanted to make sure kids were able to train so they can continue to work hard and get prepared for the season and compete for scholarships to go to college.
"When we think about our youth and how a lot of times we say they don't have places to go to be productive and have a positive influence, we look at ourselves as trying to help that," said Eure. "Giving the kids a positive environment to come here and train. Not only get better as athletes but try to bestow some of the wisdom that we have. They can take that information and try to build upon it."
For more information on Max Speed Performance Fitness, click here.