• Ebony Grant at Nana Blue. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Two years ago Ebony Grant was starting her own gym, with a focus on group fitness. Now the Wiradjuri woman has been named an ambassador for the NSW Aboriginal Health Knockout.
Keira Jenkins

14 Feb 2020 - 5:23 PM  UPDATED 15 Feb 2020 - 12:08 PM

Two and a half years ago Ebony Grant and her partner Mark Branigan took a leap of faith, starting a business - a fitness centre with a focus on group fitness.

The Wiradjuri had been studying and working with her brother when she decided it was time to branch out on her own.

"I was actually studying to be a teacher and I was doing a lot of training with my brother," she told NITV News.

"I was actually going through a lot of mental health issues and some physical issues as well and I started training and I found this power within me and I found out how strong and capable I was and I really wanted to give that to other people."

Ms Grant has been kicking goals with her gym, which is called Nana Blue, after just being named an ambassador for the NSW Aboriginal Health Knockout.

The NSW Aboriginal Knockout Health Challenge is a community- led healthy lifestyle and weight loss challenge for Aboriginal communities across the state.

Ms Grant said she can't believe she has been made an ambassador for the challenge.
"I didn't think that I had a chance and then hearing the news that I got it I just feel really honoured and really excited for the opportunity," she said.

"I think the biggest thing is that I don't want people to fear the unknown. I've experience training 50-year-olds and them coming in real scared and getting them to see how capable and able they are.

"There's so many different levels of fitness and whether you're a beginner or you've got a bit of experience, I don't want you to be scared, I want you to be excited and want to be a part of it."

The name Nana Blue in itself has a lot of significance to Ms Grant.

She said said the gym is named after her father, NRL player David 'Nana' Grant.

"Nana Blue is actually named after my late father, we lost him 25 years ago to a heart attack," Ms Grant said.

"He's a huge inspiration to me. He was a fierce, amazing, incredible man who was quite passionate and proud of all of his achievements.

"He was the first captain of the Canberra Raiders so he's an inspiration for me to keep going and not only that, I want to be healthier so I'm around longer."

Ms Grant said she wants to foster that inspirational environment and a team culture in her gym, that she knows her dad would be proud of.

"It's just a space where we come and encourage people to be a part of a team," she said.

"We work on our strength and we work on our confidence, we work on everything to do with physical and mental health. 

"But we work together so that no one has to come in here and feel alone, they can always feel like they're part of something. 

"Whenever anyone comes in for the first time I tell them about dad and I tell them about my story and why I'm doing this.

"Trying to make people feel strong and a part of something is why I started Nana Blue."

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