Our founders, Ben Wintour and Pia Fontes dreamt up Steel Warriors whilst working in PR and Advertising. They wanted to start something to prevent the growing issue of knife crime in London.
The Met Police take one tonne of knives off London’s streets every month.
Ben and Pia wondered whether they could melt down and recycle these knives into something that directly addresses the two key motives for carrying a knife, protection and bravado.
How can we give young people more confidence to walk the streets unarmed and a healthy way of flexing muscles?
Calisthenics is a trending sport that involves using fixed bar set-ups and your own bodyweight to train. It is widely adopted by prisoners around the world as a way of developing more confidence in prison.
With parks being underfunded and gyms being expensive, calisthenics seemed like a promising way of making fitness accessible to more young people as well as conveying a powerful message about knife crime.
After collaborating with an amazing group of pro bono companies and receiving sponsorship, in 2017 Steel Warriors built their first gym in Langdon Park, Tower Hamlets.
“From day one people have been using it; From young people setting up their own clubs to older women in their hijabs. The whole community has embraced it. It’s a great addition to the area.”
(Dan Rose, Director of Spotlight Youth Centre)
“Before the gym was built there was nothing here to do here. Steel Warriors have changed that for us”
(Shaniqua, Tower Hamlets)
“The best calisthenics gym in the country”
(Jay Chris, Calisthenics World Champion)
“It turns a bad passion into a good passion. It’s helped us to meet people and spend our time in a positive way it’s made a massive difference to the area.”
(Dom, local gym User)
Following the success of our first gym, we have formed an exciting partnership with the Co-op. With help from them and our many supporters we have big ambitions for the next few years.
20 gyms nationwide by 2022
Free training sessions every week at each of the gyms
Annual competitions (watch this space)…