Queer Sydneysiders wanting to get fit while making new connections this winter should check out Fit As Folk, a gay and lesbian boot camp starting its inaugural program next month, with a launch party at the Stonewall Hotel on August 4.

The new fitness business takes a successful workout model (boot camps) and gives it a twist: the sessions are aimed primarily at the gay community, and in particular, single people looking for friends and new opportunities to socialise.

“I came up with the idea a couple of years ago,” Fit As Folk creator Donna Ranauro told Sydney Star Observer.

“I have a lot of gay friends who were finding it hard to meet people, whether it was for relationships or friendships. It seemed like the easiest option was online, but they didn’t like that process after a while. I started to think — what else is there?

“In January of this year, I decided to go for it with a gay fitness boot camp.”

While the idea started out as a fitness/dating hybrid, Ranauro was keen to stress that Fit As Folk is open to everyone, single or otherwise.

“Initially my idea did stem from my gay single friends, and the difficulty of meeting people, but from that, a lot of gay people I know in relationships said things like, ‘It’s a really good idea, but I suppose I probably can’t be a part of it’.

“I realised perhaps I should incorporate everybody, It’s still at its core going to be singles-focused, but if you’re in a relationship and you want to get fit, by all means, join up. The focus is on making new friendships.”

That doesn’t mean you won’t get a tough workout. Ranauro has contracted around 10 personal trainers to put Fit As Folk members through their paces (“they’re all experienced, qualified personal trainers, and they’re all either gay or very gay-friendly,”) and is on track to start running the separate men’s and women’s programs in late August.

In the meantime, those interested in joining should register their interest on the Fit As Folk website to stay in the loop, and head to the official launch party at Stonewall on August 4.

“The launch is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to come along, find out about what we’re offering, and receive a gift bag on arrival. It’s about welcoming Fit As Folk to the gay community.”


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