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Elite training

From young athletes just starting their training regiment to Olympic hopefuls looking for perfection, Bonsu Elite Athletics in Ceres has been helping athletes with a wide range of sports performance and fitness training options.

“I always had an idea of what I wanted it to become,” said Les Bonsu, founder, owner and trainer, who’s business will mark the 13th year later in 2022. “But it exceeded what I expected. I created an environment where everyone has the same common goal. Everybody works hard and supports each other.”

Bonsu Elite Athletics, which specializes in speed, agility, strength and power training, has over 16,000 followers on Instagram. The height of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a brief shutdown, but now BEA is back to helping athletes of all ages train. The majority of BEAs’ clients are in high school and more than 200 have gone on to earn college athletic scholarships.

“I’m definitely proud of them,” Bonsu said. “The number of athletes that get to move on is small. It’s a tough road. It takes a lot of work.”

Bonsu has been the go-to trainer for many of the top athletes in the area, including Logan Gibson, Blane Abeyta, Cade Cowell, Nicole “Sis” Bates and Madilyn Nickles.

Gibson, a senior at Modesto’s Enochs High School, signed a national letter of intent with NCAA Division-I University of Hawaii in November. A standout baseball player, Gibson started training at BEA nine years ago.

“He was part of the youth group when I first came to Ceres,” Bonsu said. “He’s worked hard to make his dream become a reality.”

Abeyta, a 2017 Ceres High School, moved to Florida in March to begin his professional baseball career with the New York Yankees organization. A key contributor with the Low-A Tampa Tarpons, Abeya was named Southeast League Pitcher of the Week in September. He played college baseball for Division-I Nevada and Modesto JC.

“I’ve known Blane since his sophomore year of high school,” Bonsu said. “I’m not surprised at how far he’s gotten because of his work ethic. He never misses a training session.”

Cowell, 18, made his debut with the United States Men’s National Soccer Team in December. Cowell signed a five-year contact at the age of 15 with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer in January of 2019. He collected five goals and six assists, both career highs, during his third season of professional soccer with the Quakes.

Bates (Ceres High School) and Nickles (Merced High School) wrapped up their illustrious softball careers with Washington and UCLA, respectively, this past spring. Bates and Nickles, former youth travel teammates, were both selected in the 2021 Athletes Unlimted Softball Draft this past May. Bonsu and his staff train up to 180 people per week.

The 9,000-square-foot sports performance training facility is located at 3427 Railroad Avenue in Ceres. The facility is open Monday through Saturday and hours change depending on the season. For more information about Bonsu Elite Athletics, call (209)-247-2695.