Where are the Men of Harlech?

A fitness instructor has launched an appeal to find the real Men of Harlech.

Eirian Roberts has been inundated with women enrolling in her Zumba classes at Coleg Harlech.

Although more than 70 women have signed up, not one man has come forward to try the hip-swivelling, Latin-inspired workout.

The classes were the brainchild of Coleg Harlech short course development worker Carys Wigglesworth who was amazed at the interest in the classes from local women.

She said: “Zumba is a new initiative and I am delighted at how popular the classes are proving to be. To be honest I initially posted a message to a few of my Facebook friends that the courses were starting.

“They told their friends and before I knew it we had more than 70 ladies signed up. The idea for the Zumba classes came off the back of Bliss the musical Russell Grant directed in our theatre here at Coleg Harlech.

“It’s great to see so many people from the community supporting Coleg Harlech and using the facilities in such a positive way. I do hope to develop more courses and we will be starting a pilates course in October which will hopefully involve even more of the community.”

Eirian, who runs her own company called Eirobics, says the new exercise craze is a great fun way to keep fit.

She added: “It really is a high-energy class based on international rhythms. We use salsa, samba and tango beats and there is lots of dance moves involved. As well as running a course at Coleg Harlech I also run courses at Bangor as well as doing private sessions.

“I can tailor the sessions to suit any level of fitness. It’s all about getting the heart working and using those muscles.

“I have professional women, housewives and teenage girls coming to the Coleg Harlech sessions but we are all waiting for the first man brave enough to tackle the classes!”

Isabelle Evans, 61, who lives in Harlech loves the course and says it’s a great way to keep her fitness levels up.

She said: “To be honest I swim and do lots of other fitness work but Zumba is something I will definitely pursue. It’s great fun and I have really enjoyed the sessions.

“As for the lack of men, well I just think they are simply more inhibited than women. I don’t know why, I am sure if they came along and had a go they’d love it too.”

Tina Sloan, 37, of Llanbedr says it’s nice to see the Coleg Harlech facilities being used by the community.

She said: “I really enjoyed Zumba and, although tonight was my first session, it certainly won’t be my last. It’s a great way of keeping fit and I really enjoyed the music and the fact we could go at our own pace.

“I agree it would be nice to see a few men give it a try but they just don’t seem to be able to let themselves go quite so easily.”

Paige Prescot, of Barmouth, and Sophie Petford, of Dolgellau, said they had thoroughly enjoyed their first Zumba session and would be coming back to Coleg Harlech for more.

Paige said: “I really enjoyed it and it will be a great way of staying in shape. The music was really good too and I just enjoyed the whole evening if it was hard work.”

Sophie agreed adding: “I ache a bit but it was great fun. I’ll definitely be coming again and it’s nice to be able to use the Coleg Harelch facilities as there isn’t that much for us to do in the area.”


 Tutor Eirian Roberts with Zumba class students, from left, Isabelle Evans, Paige Prescott, Sophie Petford and Sheena Sloan at Coleg Harlech.

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