Franchisee Story: Fitness Franchise Owner


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“Maybe it’s because I’m just a kid at heart” – this is one of the reasons why Catherine Weir decided to become the first Scottish franchisee of SHOKK.

The 25 year old has been successfully operating her fitness franchise from premises in Dundee since 2008, and believes it’s the best decision she has ever made.

Catherine says, “Although I studied psychology at Aberdeen University, I knew that I didn’t harbour any ambition to become a psychologist. After my degree course, I stayed on and studied health and nutrition as part of a health sciences degree and I’m really glad I did, as that knowledge plays a major role in my current work.”

As does her inherent love of children. In her teenage years, Catherine was an active volunteer in the local community when it came to helping out with children.

She comments, “I always enjoyed helping out at summer camps, babysitting for local mums and the like. I loved doing things with young people and found it not only rewarding but fun. I still do!”

By 2007, Catherine although working with the blood transfusion service, began to research different possible franchise options in partnership with her father, as she had decided by that stage that she wanted to run a business.

“It takes a great leap faith to put your money into something which might not work, or where failure would result in financial disaster, so I had decided on franchising pretty early on,” Catherine explains.

“Franchising is the one and only way where you can start with a business model which is tried and tested, and has a proven track record of success. I was looking for something which would allow me to work with children, and also put to use the knowledge I had gathered at university.”

This is when Catherine discovered SHOKK, a childrens franchise that specialises in professional fitness for the youth sector, and has quickly established itself as the number one global youth fitness brand, with over 200 facilities worldwide and more than 100,000 young people involved with the concept.

SHOKK Dundee opened in 2008 and has been a huge success, offering state of the art facilities for the thousands of children who use it each year. There is a fully equipped child-only gym, with specialised equipment for the 5-18 year olds which they can use freely after a three week induction, to ensure they can be safe at all times.

In addition, SHOKK Dundee offers youngsters everything from hip hop and street dance classes to sessions on nutrition and positive thinking. Catherine has also introduced a FIT FOR LIFE programme which is aimed at gently showing the young members the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle, and was recently invited by a local school to facilitate a Stress Relief session for senior students, who were in the middle of their exams.

Catherine has also made a point of telling social workers and foster carers about SHOKK, and it is now used as a vehicle to help youngsters who have recently been fostered, to integrate into their new homes and areas, and meet new friends. She also has sessions for a variety of special needs children who are benefitting physically and behaviourally.

Catherine sums it up simply, “For someone who wants to be their own boss, franchising is the perfect route, as it offers the back up and support but allows you the flexibility to run your business your way.

“And for those who love kids and want to interact with them as peers, rather than parents or teachers, SHOKK is the perfect option.”