x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Tributes to popular Dubai fitness trainer after shock death at weekend

Elwood McIlwraith worked as a fitness coach at Smart Fitness in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

DUBAI // The emirate's fitness community has reacted with shock at the news that one of its best-loved figures has died.

Elwood McIlwraith, who was married in February, died this weekend. The circumstances of his death are as yet unclear.

Mr McIlwraith, from Yorkshire in the UK, served in the military for five years before moving to Dubai to work as a fitness coach at Smart Fitness in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

Today, fellow industry figures paid tribute to a man who was as a larger than life character in the local fitness community.

"In the fitness world, everyone knew him. Not just because he was a great athlete, but also because of his positive energy," said Enisa Glavovich who runs Noviplus, who had links with Mr McIlwraith through Smart Fitness.

"He had a beautiful smile, and always took care of others around him. He was one of those people who leave you feeling inspired and motivated to live your life better."

Grant Goes, the founder of FitnessLink, also knew Mr McIlwraith on a professional level.

"It's a massive shock," he said. "He was one of the nicest guys I've ever met.

"He was a lot of fun and always there to help and support when you needed it. It still blows me away to know that he's not here anymore."

Colleagues of Mr McIlwraith at Smart Fitness were unwilling to comment except to express their shock. "We're all pretty shook up," said one former colleague.

Dubai Police were not immediately available to confirm the circumstances of Mr McIlwraith's death.

mcroucher@thenational.ae