SUPPORTERS of a popular Johnstone gym headed for the hills to take part in a fundraising challenge.

A group of around 40 people signed up for the sponsored trek to the summit of Conic Hill, near Balmaha, to coin in cash towards the running costs of OB’s Muay Thai Gym, as well as St Vincent’s Hospice, in Howwood.

The fun fitness challenge brought coaches, students and parents at the William Street gym together as they walked up the 1,184-feet-high hill and then enjoyed fantastic views of Loch Lomond below.

Their efforts raised more than £2,000, which will be split equally between the gym and the hospice.

Jack Loughlin, a coach at OB’s Muay Thai Gym who organised the hill walk, said everyone involved was delighted by the amount of cash raised.

“We had no idea we would raise so much money,” he told The Gazette.

“The hill walk was great for team morale and it was a brilliant achievement for the youngsters, with a kid as young as five taking part.

“Money is tight for people just now, so it’s been amazing that so many have been so generous, especially since we can help St Vincent’s Hospice as well.

“Most of the people at the gym are from Johnstone and everybody’s been touched in some way by the great work of the hospice and the important service it provides.”

OB’s Muay Thai Gym, which reopened on August 31, is a not-for-profit community sports group and runs classes in Muay Thai boxing for people of all ages.

Jack said: “It’s been a really hard time for gyms at the moment, so this money will come in very handy for securing the future of our establishment.

“We are doing anything we can do to try to make up for the shortfall of money because the bills are remaining the same but we aren’t able to bring in the same income due to the current restrictions.

“We’ve also had to buy signs and hand sanitising stations to make sure we’re following the correct procedures, which was another additional cost that we weren’t expecting.”

John O’Brien, owner of OB’s Muay Thai Gym, added: “I would like to thank everyone for their donations, especially McKellar Accountancy and the Musclebound sports shop in Paisley.”

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