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Push for U-turn on gym reopening decision after petition goes viral and Tanni tackles Boris
24 Jun 2020 . BY Liz Terry
Tanni Grey-Thompson – tackling Boris Johnson
Photo: ukactive
Momentum is gathering pace in the push for a U-turn on the government's decision to open pubs before gyms, with the industry and consumers joining the fight to get gyms open before the middle of July – the current best case scenario.

A consumer-led government petition calling for gyms to reopen has gone viral, racking up over 105,000 signatures at the time of writing, meaning it now qualifies to be tabled for a debate in the House of Commons.

Yesterday, prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced that large swathes of the leisure sector would be permitted to open on 4 July – including pubs – but that gyms and spas would need to remain closed.

Following the uproar that followed, culture minister, Oliver Dowden, tweeted the intention to aim for reopening in mid-July, but the industry is questioning the government's logic and science and demanding that a proper plan be laid out.

There appears to be a lack of awareness of industry lobbying in government.

For example, in its response to the Parliamentary petition, the DCMS issued a statement which appears to indicate that it is not aware of much of the work done by the sector in preparing for reopening, saying:

“Government is in discussions with the gym sector about the actions that would need to be taken to reopen facilities in a safe way.

“It has asked them to consider what steps they would need to take, and guidance they would need to develop, to allow this to happen. This will be used to support the government’s decision-making around future public health guidelines.

“This is not straightforward. There are many issues to consider, including how gyms could reopen and operate whilst meeting social distancing guidelines, how access in and out of facilities may need to be changed, whether facilities will have enough workers to operate safely and effectively, and whether people will be willing to come back to gyms if they do reopen.


In a letter today to prime minister, Boris Johnson, Tanni Grey-Thompson, chair of ukactive, challenged the government over its handling of the matter in terms that refute this DCMS response and show that the industry had already addressed all these issues long prior to the announcement yesterday.

Grey-Thompson wrote: “ukactive submitted comprehensive health and safety guidance to the Government on 7th May, following a five-week consultation with members.

“This guidance detailed how the sector would respect social distancing measures and enhance already robust hygiene and sanitisation measures.

“The Government welcomed this documentation and ukactive, alongside operator representatives, supported the integration of this guidance into the overarching draft guidance for the whole sport and physical activity sector, which we believed was ready for publication.”

“At no point were any formal concerns raised [by government] about the proposed operating model within our guidance, and no formal questions asked for ukactive or our operators to respond to – an act we would have undertaken enthusiastically.”

ukactive is now calling for the government to:

1. Provide formal reasons for the omission of the sector from yesterday’s announcement, including an explanation on how the relative risk of a busy pub at one-metre social distancing is lower than a controlled gym or leisure centre environment;
2. For ukactive and sector representatives to have direct meetings with the Chief Medical Officer and his team to address any remaining questions on the sector;
3. For Government officials and the Chief Medical Officer’s team to visit ‘show sites’ representing the variety of facilities we have in the sector, and
4. To set out a clear timetable for reopening the sector, with an agreed date.

“Regrettably, many in the sector have lost faith in the process,” wrote Grey-Thompson. “The consequences of further delays and ambiguity are stark. Communities across the UK are now o'n notice' in regard to the potential loss of facilities in their towns and high streets, with more than 2,800 facilities at risk of closure and more than 100,000 jobs at risk, which is more than half of the workforce in fitness and leisure facilities.

To lose these facilities in the midst of the biggest health crisis could set back public health for a generation. The loss would be catastrophic to communities:

• We will lose swimming pools and children’s swimming lessons.

• We will lose social prescribing services that offer GPs the ability to prescribe physical activity to aid recovery and health in patients undergoing prehab, rehab or managing long-term health conditions.

• We will lose facilities and services for community groups, such as classes for older people, BAME communities, people with disabilities, and schools.

• We will lose over £3.3bn of social value per annum, based on the benefits provided to the population’s health and wellbeing.

In closing, Grey-Thompson wrote: “Prime Minister, this is a personal plea to you. I fear further delays could see us lose these facilities forever. This sector needs to be at the heart of the fight against COVID-19, and I urge you and your team to do everything you can to save the sector.”

Read Tanni's letter to Boris in full here.

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PRODUCT NEWS
Push for U-turn on gym reopening decision after petition goes viral and Tanni tackles Boris
24 Jun 2020 . BY Liz Terry
Tanni Grey-Thompson – tackling Boris Johnson
Photo: ukactive
Momentum is gathering pace in the push for a U-turn on the government's decision to open pubs before gyms, with the industry and consumers joining the fight to get gyms open before the middle of July – the current best case scenario.

A consumer-led government petition calling for gyms to reopen has gone viral, racking up over 105,000 signatures at the time of writing, meaning it now qualifies to be tabled for a debate in the House of Commons.

Yesterday, prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced that large swathes of the leisure sector would be permitted to open on 4 July – including pubs – but that gyms and spas would need to remain closed.

Following the uproar that followed, culture minister, Oliver Dowden, tweeted the intention to aim for reopening in mid-July, but the industry is questioning the government's logic and science and demanding that a proper plan be laid out.

There appears to be a lack of awareness of industry lobbying in government.

For example, in its response to the Parliamentary petition, the DCMS issued a statement which appears to indicate that it is not aware of much of the work done by the sector in preparing for reopening, saying:

“Government is in discussions with the gym sector about the actions that would need to be taken to reopen facilities in a safe way.

“It has asked them to consider what steps they would need to take, and guidance they would need to develop, to allow this to happen. This will be used to support the government’s decision-making around future public health guidelines.

“This is not straightforward. There are many issues to consider, including how gyms could reopen and operate whilst meeting social distancing guidelines, how access in and out of facilities may need to be changed, whether facilities will have enough workers to operate safely and effectively, and whether people will be willing to come back to gyms if they do reopen.


In a letter today to prime minister, Boris Johnson, Tanni Grey-Thompson, chair of ukactive, challenged the government over its handling of the matter in terms that refute this DCMS response and show that the industry had already addressed all these issues long prior to the announcement yesterday.

Grey-Thompson wrote: “ukactive submitted comprehensive health and safety guidance to the Government on 7th May, following a five-week consultation with members.

“This guidance detailed how the sector would respect social distancing measures and enhance already robust hygiene and sanitisation measures.

“The Government welcomed this documentation and ukactive, alongside operator representatives, supported the integration of this guidance into the overarching draft guidance for the whole sport and physical activity sector, which we believed was ready for publication.”

“At no point were any formal concerns raised [by government] about the proposed operating model within our guidance, and no formal questions asked for ukactive or our operators to respond to – an act we would have undertaken enthusiastically.”

ukactive is now calling for the government to:

1. Provide formal reasons for the omission of the sector from yesterday’s announcement, including an explanation on how the relative risk of a busy pub at one-metre social distancing is lower than a controlled gym or leisure centre environment;
2. For ukactive and sector representatives to have direct meetings with the Chief Medical Officer and his team to address any remaining questions on the sector;
3. For Government officials and the Chief Medical Officer’s team to visit ‘show sites’ representing the variety of facilities we have in the sector, and
4. To set out a clear timetable for reopening the sector, with an agreed date.

“Regrettably, many in the sector have lost faith in the process,” wrote Grey-Thompson. “The consequences of further delays and ambiguity are stark. Communities across the UK are now o'n notice' in regard to the potential loss of facilities in their towns and high streets, with more than 2,800 facilities at risk of closure and more than 100,000 jobs at risk, which is more than half of the workforce in fitness and leisure facilities.

To lose these facilities in the midst of the biggest health crisis could set back public health for a generation. The loss would be catastrophic to communities:

• We will lose swimming pools and children’s swimming lessons.

• We will lose social prescribing services that offer GPs the ability to prescribe physical activity to aid recovery and health in patients undergoing prehab, rehab or managing long-term health conditions.

• We will lose facilities and services for community groups, such as classes for older people, BAME communities, people with disabilities, and schools.

• We will lose over £3.3bn of social value per annum, based on the benefits provided to the population’s health and wellbeing.

In closing, Grey-Thompson wrote: “Prime Minister, this is a personal plea to you. I fear further delays could see us lose these facilities forever. This sector needs to be at the heart of the fight against COVID-19, and I urge you and your team to do everything you can to save the sector.”

Read Tanni's letter to Boris in full here.

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There’s growing consumer interest in halo (salt) therapy since COVID-19 as people look to improve their respiratory health and boost their immune systems.
Bryte develops AI smart-bed to improve and optimise restorative sleep
Silicon Valley tech startup, Bryte, proposes that hotels need to commit to in-room wellness in every guest room – for Bryte, the true catalyst to in-room wellness is through improving restorative sleep.
The rise of the training pod
Belfast based gym equipment manufacturer BLK BOX designs, engineers and fabricates a range of rigs for the most elite, performance-driven organisations globally.
Digital education: TRX trains more than 14,000 professionals for free using live virtual training
In response to the pandemic, TRX, the global leader in functional training equipment, world- class training content, and app-based training technology, transformed its TRX Suspension Training Course into a free, live virtual edition via Zoom.
Gympass partners with F45 Training to bring functional team training to world's largest corporate fitness platform
Gympass, the world’s largest corporate fitness platform, has announced a partnership with F45 Training, one of the world’s fastest-growing fitness franchisors that will give its corporate members access to their global network of workout facilities.
Fisikal chosen as tech partner for ‘JP4’; new health app from fitness expert, Jessie Pavelka
Fitness expert and television host, Jessie Pavelka has collaborated with Fisikal, experts in digital management solutions, to create the new JP4 app, a premium 12-week personal health and fitness transformation programme that takes the user on a journey of change through four key elements of health.
Let's get restarted: Physical Company offers advice on keeping gym members safe
As countries around the world gear up to relax their lockdown rules, there remains a question mark over gyms and studios, which in many markets will be one of the last sectors to be given the green light.
myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
Bicester hotel opens purpose-built performance facilities to attract new target audience
The Bicester Hotel and Spa has launched purpose-built fitness and performance facilities to create a standalone, unique offering to attract a new demographic to the site.
EGYM launches digital functionality to help gyms adjust to a post lockdown world
As Governments turn attention to a lockdown exit strategy, the world is bracing itself for a ‘new norm’ where social distancing and heightened hygiene requirements become a part of daily life.
Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
+ More products   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
TRX Training UK

Whether beginning a fitness journey or pushing towards your summit, TRX Training helps you to move [more...]
+ More profiles  
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+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Core Health & Fitness - THROWDOWN
Throwdown® creates opportunities to push boundaries by enabling everyone to reach their peak performance. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

16-19 Aug 2020

SPATEC Spring North America

Ritz-Carlton, Miami, United States
16-19 Aug 2020

The WELL Conference

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

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Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

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