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E.K. trainer to help Romanian orphans

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East Kildonan trainer Johnny Fukumoto is aiming to send 10 Romanian children to camp with fundraisers through his Fukumoto Fitness gym.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

East Kildonan trainer Johnny Fukumoto is aiming to send 10 Romanian children to camp with fundraisers through his Fukumoto Fitness gym. Photo Store

For a second consecutive year, a local fitness centre is looking to help kids overseas.

Fukumoto Fitness, located at 521 Golspie St., is working to help send 10 Romanian orphans to summer camp through Impact Romania. Owner Johnny Fukumoto is looking to raise at least $1,500, as it costs $150 to send a child for a week. The gym helped send 16 kids in 2012.

Fukumoto, 30, whose father is heavily involved in the organization, has worked with orphanages in the country on three different occasions and has seen the work it does.

"It’s the only time they spend away from the institution all year," Fukumoto said. "They bring in a lot of volunteers, and give them fun activities and games, better food than they’re used to in terms of fruits and vegetables."

Fukumoto has already raised over $700 through a charity workout and a spare change jar. Until June 14, the centre is holding a burpee contest, where for a $2 donation, visitors receive 90 seconds to do as many burpees as possible. The centre will donate a nickel for each successful burpee, and Fukumoto and other coaches will also do one-third of that total number of burpees together at the end of the month. The total was at 1,703 on June 7, and Fukumoto expects it to surpass 3,000 by the deadline.

He is also setting up a separate burpee event for Lululemon staff to help raise more money.

Fukumoto said while his connection to the orphanages make him realize how fortunate he is, he also takes inspiration from the children he has seen.

"(You see) the joy that the kids have amid very, very difficult circumstances, whether they realize it or not," he said. "Those things make you think about how you need to take perspective on your own situation."

For more information on the cause, visit www.impactromania.com

People looking for more on Fukumoto can find him featured in the Fitness Consulting Group’s Group Training Playbook, which was released as an e-book on June 4. Fukumoto was one of two Canadians featured in the release, which has submissions from 42 trainers.

The book gives trainers suggestions of how to run classes while focusing on the needs of the individuals in it, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Fukumoto’s chapter is called Group Program Supersets, which offers time-saving suggestions, among other tips.

"We alternate between two different exercises for a set amount of time," he said. "(The exercises) are quite opposite in nature so that you don’t rest, but while you’re doing another (exercise), the main areas you were working on before, they’re recovering."

For more information on the e-book, visit www.grouptrainingplaybook.com

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