Jason Gillard’s daughter Aria is the inspiration for Guinness World Record attempt for largest circuit class at Stormont

A personal trainer who has been inspired by his daughter with Down’s Syndrome to raise funds for Mencap is calling on NI’s fitness fanatics to come together this month and break a world record.

By Graeme Cousins
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 5:30 pm

Jason Gillard is behind an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the largest circuit class in the world on August 21 at Stormont Pavilion.

He said: “I want to get this wee island, this wee country into the Guinness World Record books, but I need them to know where and when it’s happening, get off their bums and come along.

“We need 2,063 people to break the record.

Jason's daughter Aria

“I’ve got the top instructors from Northern Ireland, it’s a real cross community effort.

“I’m trying to get a lot of clubs to bring down their teams in their colours and make it a tribal fitness event.”

Money raised from the attempt will be donated to Mencap, who Jason said have been instrumental in his daughter’s development.

The father of four said: “Aria is four now. She was born with Down’s Syndrome.

Suitably exhausted after one of Jason's bootcamp sessions

“It wasn’t until the birth that we found out. It was all down to the abortion laws in Northern Ireland where they don’t test for Down’s Syndrome.

“That wouldn’t have made a difference, but it would have prepared us.”

He added: “When Aria went to Mencap nursery, that’s where I got the inspiration from, the profound effect it had on her.

“She’s still quite non-verbal, but her development has skyrocketed there.

Jason Gillard with his daughter Aria

“I thought I’d love to give something back, I wanted to do something different – to get into the record books, to be inspired by Aria, to do something we could really get Northern Ireland behind.”

Jason was born in England but has plenty of links to Northern Ireland.

He said: “I’m an ex-squaddie, my mother is from here, my dad served here, then I served here. I met my wife two months before I was going to Afghanistan.

“I was a PTI (physical training instructor) in the army. I saw that Northern Ireland hasn’t taken off in the outdoor bootcamp scene so I started a military style bootcamp.”

Later in the year Jason will also be helping to launch the very first veterans awards in Northern Ireland.

The world record attempt for the world’s largest circuit class takes place from 10am to 12noon at Stormont Pavilion on August 21.

Everyone is invited to a family day with food and drink on hand, entertainment and more hosted by Q Radio.

Tickets for the day are available from networkfit.io/world-record