Barber shop becomes a hub for health and fitness
Barber shop turned into a hub for health and fitness
By Colin Thompson
A vision of bringing Bermuda’s men together in the interest of health became a reality on Saturday.
Ricky Spence, owner of Spence’s Barber Shop in Pembroke, hosted ‘Ricky’s Health Day’, which attracted more than 200 people.
Many of those who attended took advantage of the free health screenings on offer, which was the main theme of the event held in and around Mr Spence’s Glebe Road business.
The barber was inspired to promote men’s health after a childhood friend died last summer from an illness that could have been treated if detected earlier.
Watching the throngs in attendance take advantage of the opportunity to have their health checked brought tears to the eyes of an emotional Mr Spence, who struggled to find words to describe the occasion.
“It is so important to get yourself checked out because there are so many young people dying,” he said. “We need to get serious about our health.
“This dream came into my mind and I had to act it out and I think it is very positive. It was my thought and my plan but so many people came along and brought food, drinks and everything else. It is so wonderful to see the love and support it brings tears to my eyes.
“This is very touching and I just want to thank everyone involved for supporting me; my family, customers, sponsors and friends.”
Asked if he had any plans to make it an annual event, he replied: “Hopefully we can build from here and move to the next level.”
Among the dignitaries in attendance was Premier Michael Dunkley, who commended Mr Spence for his efforts to promote men’s health.
“When I heard about it I was keen to attend for a couple of reasons and one is my father passed away when I was young, and as a young boy at that time it was a real shock to my life,” Mr Dunkley said. “When I heard Ricky was doing something to promote health and some of the challenges he had with some of his family and friends I thought it was an opportune time for me to go around there and show my support because we tend to take our health for granted, and we can’t do that, so hats off to Ricky and the team around there.
“It was a great event and an awesome turnout and just goes to show that the community will always come together to rally around good causes.”
The highlight of Saturday’s event was a 100 metres dash between Mr Spence and long-time client Brenton Peterson held on North Shore Road.
The winner received a trophy and bragging rights, while the loser had their hair, moustache and eyebrows shaved.
Mr Peterson won the race comfortably and then had the pleasure of giving Mr Spence a taste of his own medicine.
Summing up the race, Mr Peterson said: “He gave me some competition for a little while but I made sure I got a comfortable lead so I could cruise in because I knew I had more gas to give.
“It was wonderful and I think more people should try and encourage this kind of stuff here. The turnout was excellent and I am hoping he (Mr Spence) can do this annually so it can grow bigger with not just he and I racing but other people also.”
Mr Spence, who ran the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon days earlier, admitted the better man won on the day.
“He was strong and faster,” he said. “But the fellowship was more important than anything else.”
Asked about his new look, Mr Spence paused, took a deep breath and grinned: “I look clean.”