How ‘gobby’ Geordie personal trainer went from wrong crowds to community hero

Karleigh now runs fitness classes which bring together the community

"I was never really bad at school, I was just a bit gobby," Karleigh Wright admits.

The personal trainer has never been short of confidence and is currently riding the high off opening her own fitness centre in Hebburn earlier this month.

Karleigh is still "buzzing" nearly two weeks after opening KW Fitness' new home in Hebburn.

The coach has spent the past decade working as a dancer, touring on cruise ships and says her colleagues always referred to her as a "gym rat".

It's a term Karleigh embraces, and credits for pulling her out of wrong circles as a youngster.

She said: "My mam and dad always put me into different hobbies as a kid. We were spoilt with love, not stuff.

"One week we were trying trampolining, then karate, football, dancing. The one thing I flew with was dancing and performing.

"When I became a teenager I became a bit influenced by the wrong thing, hanging around living in a council estate. You get a bit dragged into the wrong crowd.

"I was never really bad at school, I was just a bit gobby!

Karleigh embraced her passion for dance

"Eventually, in my last year at school, I took a look in the mirror and thought, what are you doing with your life? You're going to end up resulting in nothing.

"I wasn't the most intelligent and the thing I felt the most comfortable with was performing.

"I changed my group of friends and stuck in with dancing and the blinkers came on. I watched all these girls that were insane and started copying them."

KW Fitness has a new site in Hebburn

Soon, Karleigh was working toward her goal at Newcastle College, before taking her studies to London - spending every spare second training and stretching to "make up for five years hanging around at the park".

Those qualifications led to a successful performance career on the seas but now the dancer has settled back in the North East.

The Geordie knows first-hand the power of sport and being active, and that's at the heart of the latest steps in the KW Fitness venture.

Karleigh’s session have become an important part of the community for many

Karleigh said: "I'm not here to be a millionaire, I just want to put my stamp down and make people feel good about themselves."

Personal training clients stuck with the dancer as and when she came home from touring on the ships, and have come out in force to support Karleigh's new site.

She added: "I was renting a place before but one thing led to another and I ended up with a lot of clients, needing my own space.

"I was looking, people were suggesting church halls but I wanted something that could be a hub for my lasses - not just somewhere to come and train but to hang around and be somewhere they feel really comfortable.

"It's a community, everyone knows each other and friendships are forming.

"I'm full passionate about it. It's been open a week and it's buzzing."

You can find KW Fitness at 8G Victoria Road Industrial Estate Hebburn, NE31 1UB