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Prairieville gym owner wins ESPY award
PRAIRIEVILLE - Mother, gym owner, personal trainer and body builder, Brandi Leblanc, added a new title to her list Friday evening—104.5 ESPN Honorary ESPY award recipient.
"I didn't come here expecting to win it. I was coming, expecting just to do an interview," Leblanc, owner of Barbelle Beauty Fitness, said.
The Honorary ESPY award is a local version of ESPN's ESPY award. It recognizes individual and team athletic achievements. This year, 104.5, ESPN Baton Rouge, wanted to recognize someone who helps expand access to sports for girls.
"They said there were three people, and I was one of three, so I am definitely surprised," Leblanc said.
Leblanc wasn't always into fitness. After she left an abusive marriage, she started body building, becoming mentally and physically stronger.
"I don't see it as a tragedy, or anything like that, I see it as an empowerment to me," Leblanc said.
In 2019, she opened her own training studio, Barbelle Beauty Fitness in Prarieville, inspiring other women.
"They would tell me the things they were battling, they would tell me the way they lost confidence in themselves, and how badly they wanted it back. They would come to me as a last resort," Leblanc said, "It became a passion and a mission ministry honestly for me, to help other women overcome those issues."
Leblanc plans to expand her studio from 1,200 sq. ft., to more than 4,000 sq. ft. Anyone is invited to workout.
The Ascension Parish gym owner will be mentioned on the ESPY awards. They air at 7 p.m. July 20 on WBRZ.
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