Ex-professional boxer Darren Askew has now turned his sights on training the next generation – after setting up a new gym in Workington.

With brother Nathan and friend Frank Johnston, the trio have turned an abandoned warehouse into a fully functioning gym on the Salterbeck Industrial Estate.

Known as Empire Sports Performance Gym, the facility is already welcoming sports teams from across the area, who are looking to vary their training regime.

The gym has a track for sprints and weight sled workouts. For those looking to improve their physique, there are dumbells and resistance machines. Gymnastic exercises can be performed on bars and rings.

The team will offer strength and conditioning training from Nathan Askew and they are helping sports teams to raise their game.

Darren said: “We’re working with a lot of youth football and rugby teams at the minute. It seems to be taking off.”

He will provide boxing classes to the sport’s next generation. “I’ve got a wealth of experience to pass on,” he said, “I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my career.”

Empire Sports Performance will serve as a training ground for Tapout Knockout, a Workington martial arts club, and two of their young prospects are benefitting from Darren and Nathan’s training. Grappling and kickboxing prospects Ryan Dobinson and Thomas Johnston have been improving their strength and agility at the gym.

Tapout Knockout have their own section of the facility which they helped to develop.

Darren that the team are excited for the future of the gym and they are looking forward to getting fully underway.

The club is holding a competition for two adult and two youth sports teams to star in their first promotional video. Teams have until tomorrow to enter by commenting their name under the competition post on the Empire Sports Performance Facebook page. A post next week will name the teams that entered and the most ‘liked’ will win a free training session at the facility.