STRICTLY Come Dancing star Flavia Cacace joined Woking Deputy Mayor Saj Hussain for a coronavirus-safe official launch of a new gym club.

Flavia is the sister of Max Cacace, who has opened La Palestra in Goldsworth Park shopping centre.

She and Cllr Hussain wore facemasks to cut a ribbon across the entrance to the gym before they tried out some of the club’s exercise equipment.

Flavia, who won Strictly with gymnast Louis Smith in 2012, is also a personal trainer, qualified to help people improve their health and fitness.

Max said he was driven to open the gym by his passion to educate clients to pay attention to their bodies, and not just follow fitness exercises and trends that can be harmful in the long run.

“We offer no gimmicks or false promises,” he added. “At La Palestra, clients will be offered only honest advice and care, whether it is for training, diet and nutrition, or during recovery from an injury, illness or operation.

“We have an inclusive space and special support for disabilities, and encourage clients to not only improve but also maintain their health and wellbeing.”

La Palestra followed COVID-19 precautions and was a safe environment for people who wanted to train on their own or work on their fitness with a personal trainer.

The gym held an opening day raffle which raised £112.68 for the nearby Woking Hospice. The prizes included a block of four personal training sessions and three months’ membership of the gym.