New Market Estates, 25 Heidelberg Avenue, Newmarket, Alberton
Telephone: 011 869 9904 • email:

About Us

In July 1975 Mike Hooper had a vision. This vision was to extend to all people the availability to rid themselves of ailments and illness through exercise. Also he wished to educate people in the ways of being more aware of living a healthier lifestyle. He was determined to make exercising affordable to everyone, not just a privileged few, as was the case when he began exercising.

Mike Hooper himself started training at the age of 13, at Issie Bloomberg`s health club in Eloff street in central Johannesburg. He exercised religiously under the watchful eye of Abie Jordan, until his single mother could no longer afford the monthly fees. He then exercised at home with a home made bench and some weights given him by a friend.

Mike exercised on and off and working for various health clubs until 1974, when he began training seriously at Southern Suburbs Health Centre with Dennis Spong. Mike was determined to open his own health club. He told Dennis Spong so. In 1974 Mike was offered a once in a lifetime opportunity by Dennis,  to run a health club in ALBERTON, Voortrekker Rd,Dennis had purchased. Mike took Dennis up on his offer, providing that Dennis sold the club to Mike at a price to be set at outset after 1 year. Thus began S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH STUDIO.

The original S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH STUDIO was situated at Airaf Corner. It consisted of a ladies and gents gymnasium in one. Men and women alternated at using the facilities, Monday Wednesday and Friday were men’s days while Tuesday Thursday and Saturday were ladies days. Aerobics was not even thought of. Mike immediately took over a dental technicians work shop and turned it into a ladies fitness hall with him giving fitness classes hourly. It was an immediate success. When Mike took over, S.A. OLYMPIC the club could not pay the rent of R 400,00 , the first month under Mike’s guidance the club made a grand total of over R 1800,00, both Mike and Dennis were ecstatic.

In 1975 Mike took over the reigns of S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH STUDIO completely. He grew from strength to strength steering the club from success to success. It was not easy. An eighteen hour a day shift was the norm rather than the exception. Mike worked as a “ bouncer “ at the then popular nite club known as “ Plum Crazy”, to substitute his own income and to take his salary off the expense sheet of the health club. Times were very tough in those days and the only help Mike could afford was the cleaning lady who did a general clean up 3 times a week, on the other days Mike did the cleaning himself.

S.A. Olympic and Mike faced many challenges together in the form of competition from the likes of Kevin De Klerk , the springbok lock forward who was a teenage “ friend “ of Mike’s, who trained at Mike’s club then promptly opened a health club directly across the road from S.A. Olympic, telling the whole of Alberton’s rugby fraternity that he would close S.A. OLYMIC down in 2 months , he closed down in two years. There were many other persons who used S.A. Olympic and Mike`s knowledge to forward their own goals, one was Body Pazaz.

They opened a branch near “ Snooker City, and then another one in Checkers Centre in Brackenhurst the idea being to “ squash “ S.A Olympic. Mike at this time had become a “reborne “ Christian and was attending church regularly as well as bible studies on Wednesday evenings. This was a great turning point in Mike’s career and he got rid of his attitude very quickly. Realizing just how insignificant his efforts would be without GOD in his life, he dedicated his club to GOD. Mike handed the trials and tribulations he faced with alarming success when he adopted this attitude. Soon enough underhanded tactics proved to be the downfall of many of his opposition.

It was Mike who initiated the policy his club still enforces today, that of giving all pensioners and handicapped persons residing in the Alberton area greatly reduced rates. People like BRIGADIER GENERAL FRANS COETZEE, DECEASED ,a double SPRINGBOK weight lifter and DAVE HUGHES, ( 86 ) a well known bodybuilding and weight lifting both trained / train at S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH WORLD. GOD gave Mike a revelation, and he began the debit order system, realizing that it was not good business policy to get lump sums of money up front, but rather fees were to be paid on a debit order basis. Also much safer for the client. Along came the Sharper Image group, who also had clever ideas and who tricked many people into buying memberships in a club that never opened it’s doors. There were many others.

Over the years the health club industry became notorious with trickery. Many of the members of S.A. Olympic Health World left and joined other clubs. In most cases to be suckered into parting with their money on a upfront membership. In the 30 years of it’s existence S.A. Olympic Health World has never had such a stigma attached to it. Mike has always attributed this and the continued success of himself and S.A. Olympic Health World to the fact that ALL belongs to and is dedicated to the glory of GOD.

In April 1993 after much deliberation and many arguments with the landlord of the premises at Airaf Corner, Mike saw a property for sale in the Newmarket area. He made an offer to the owner which was accepted and Mike began building the current S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH WORLD in JANUARY 1994. It was complete in AUGUST 1994, and the club moved. Mike dedicated the club the land and attributed all his successes to the fact that he had always given GOD the glory and honour for all his personal successes and the success of S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH WORLD. It was opened by Mayor DAAN DIPPENAAR, and dedicated by Pastor JACK WINDT.

Today S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH WORLD boasts additional buildings such as squash courts, and a complete remedial massage room,a new leg section, Spinning Hall. In May of 2011, S. A. Olympic Health World took delivery of 10 brand new LIFE FITNESS TREATMILLS. It has grown from a 480sq metre club to a 4500sq metre club where members are treated as human beings not as numbers, where the public need not fear trickery and as Mike in his own words clearly states “ to GOD be the glory “.

MEIS BOOYENS joined S.A. OLYMPIC HEALTH WORLD, 13 years ago and is currently the manageress, while MIKE HOOPER is still active in the administration of the club, legal matters and promotions, but is VERY slightly SEMI – RETIRED. MIKE has been in the health club business for 40 years, and in his own words, “ Does not regret a day of it “