After spending 25 years serving his country, personal trainer and retired Colour Sergeant Daz Dugan has now completed his life-long dream of opening his own gym.
Daz Dugan Military Functional Fitness, in partnership with Legends Health and Fitness in Durban Road, Bognor Regis, is now open with a reduced rate for veterans all over the country.
On Sunday Daz celebrated his 46th birthday in a very exciting way by inviting friends, family and fitness fanatics down to the gym to show them all what the new facility is all about.
Daz, who over the years has received extensive training in K1, boxing coaching and personal training, will be delivering a wide range of combat and functional classes to members of all ages and athletic ability.
Daz, said: “From such a young age I had so much experience in the fitness field and my dream has always been to open my own gym but I came out of the army with nothing.
“Then three years ago I suffered severely with PTSD and went down hill really bad and I just thought to myself what is going on here. It was not until my close friend, Danny, killed himself that I pulled out the other side and realised something needed to change.”
Daz knew soldier Danny Johnston for 20 years, having trained him in the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, before he took his own life in May 2018 as a result of suffering with mental health.
Daz added: “It was the support of my wife, my children, fellow soldiers and dear friends and family that have got me to the good place that I am in today.
“I want to offer support to those who find themselves in a difficult way after coming out of the army and my doors will always be open to veterans who need a coffee and a chat and I will advise and help them out the best I can.”
Daz’s Wife, Liz Dugan, has stuck by his side through the difficult times and expressed just how proud she was of Daz’s new business venture.
Liz said: “Life as an army family is never easy, but life after is something else entirely.
“It has taken Daz a long time to settle into civilian life and seeing him struggle as he has since leaving the forces has been heartbreaking at times, he has been really lost.
“I’m so proud of him for chasing his dreams and turning them into a reality.”
Daz has also welcomed boxing club, Fighting Fit Amateur Boxing Club, to the facility where head coach Andy Josling and his team will hold their weekly training sessions.
Head boxing coach, Andy Josling said: “We are very grateful or Daz providing us with the use of his gym to run our club and we feel it is the beginning of a great friendship”.
Click here to view further images of the new gym https://www.bognor.co.uk/news/people/exclusive-look-bognor-based-army-veteran-opens-daz-dugan-military-functional-fitness-1-8976862
Anyone affected by this article, or who needs support, can speak to the Samaritans – free and at any time – by calling 116 123. For more information about the Samaritans, visit www.samaritans.org.