Huthayfah Penney

hudayfah

My parents weren’t doing well when I first started training at this gym, they weren’t able to pay the gym fees, so I started paying for them myself with my job. My coach started noticing that and first he wanted to see if I was willing to pay. I said “Yeah, don’t worry about it, it will be okay. I’ll pay in like portions.’ He saw me working hard in training and he said “You know what, if at the end of every training session you mop up the mats and everything you don’t have to worry about paying me anymore, just clean up the mats right after the training session and we’re even.” Now it has grown to the point where he is paying me to teach at his gym.

Huthayfah Penney, Sherwood Park-based athlete –  World Champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I’m the second oldest of five siblings and I’m half-Lebanese, half-Anglo Canadian. One of the happiest moments of my life was winning that world championship. Just the moment at the end when I finally had my hand raised, dropped to my knees and made sujood (prostrated)… I sat there for a little bit.

When it comes to sports,  flexible payment plans are so important for accessibility. There are some people who are businessmen and want to make as much money as they can with the sport and I can understand why – they have their own lives, their own families, but I just want to find ways to reach as many people, as many kids as I can to introduce the sport.

My parents weren’t doing well when I first started training at this gym, they weren’t able to pay the gym fees, so I started paying for them myself with my job. My coach started noticing that and first he wanted to see if I was willing to pay. I said “Yeah, don’t worry about it, it will be okay. I’ll pay in like portions.’

He saw me working hard in training and he said “You know what, if at the end of every training session you mop up the mats and everything you don’t have to worry about paying me anymore, just clean up the mats right after the training session and we’re even.”

Now it has grown to the point where he is paying me to teach at his gym.

I have always wanted to open my own gym, have my own club, run my own facility. Something that I have always dreamed about I guess since I was in junior high, just a little kid. Subhan’Allah (All glory comes from God). My dream is to open the club somewhere on the north side where I could be able teach a lot of youth.

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