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Industry heavyweights Tanni Grey-Thompson, Humphrey Cobbold and Huw Edwards hit primetime TV to fight for gym reopening
25 Jun 2020 . BY Liz Terry
Cobbold and Grey-Thompson hit the BBC's 5.00 o'clock news to fight for the gym sector
Photo: BBC
Tanni Grey-Thompson, Chair of ukactive, Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of Pure Gym and ukactive board member and Huw Edwards CEO of ukactive, all appeared on the UK's BBC prime time TV last night (24 June) to represent the gym sector and challenge the government's "pubs before gyms" decision which looks likely to delay reopening of the activity sector until mid-July at the earliest.

The appearance follows Grey-Thompson's open letter to prime minister, Boris Johnson, yesterday, which called on him to justify his decision with science, allow the sector access to the chief medical officer and formally explain the reasons for not allowing reopening.

The challenge appears to be that the sector has still been classed as a ‘close proximity’ business – in spite of the detailed operating procedures which have been put in place.

In a doubleheader interview on the BBC’s 5.00 o'clock news programme, Grey-Thompson and Cobbold made the case for reopening, explaining how operating procedures will work. They also highlighted the economic impact of the sector, which employs 600,000 people, serves 10m members and turns over £7.7bn a year.

Savings to the health service of £3.3bn were also mentioned.

"We are just asking the government to think again," said Grey-Thompson. "The sector has been amazing in the way it's worked together. We've had really detailed plans in with the government since May 7th – in fact, the sector started looking at this and planning as we went into lockdown, so we are prepared."

"We want to reopen safely," she said, "we're very concerned that our contribution to the economy and to health and wellbeing seems to have been forgotten."

Grey-Thompson was asked if she felt something had been hidden or there was some kind of cover-up going on. She said: "We've been in more discussions and debates than I can count, and it feels as though we've just been pushed around in circles. It would be good to have some feedback to say what more the government wants the sector to do because we're prepared to do it."

Cobbold said: "We're bitterly disappointed – we've worked extremely hard to develop a series of safety protocols with medical experts in their fields, including Professor Greg Whyte, and we've worked – we thought – very closely with the government and their advisers in the DCMS to prepare those protocols.

"It was a big surprise that we weren't allowed to proceed yesterday, because up to that point we were given absolutely no indication that there were issues.”

Cobbold highlighted how Pure Gym's European clubs have been open for up to six weeks, using the same protocols as laid out in the ukactive guidelines that were presented to the DCMS on 7 May,.

He said: "I run a business which has 230 sites that are already open across Europe, so we've had had the opportunity to test the protocols we proposed putting in place in the UK.

"We've welcomed over a million people to our sites in Switzerland and Denmark in the last six weeks, we've been tested by the authorities 60 or 70 times and passed all those tests and as far as we're aware, we haven't had a single infection or transmission in those facilities.

"We're puzzling why this evidence – all of which has been provided to the government, didn't' even elicit a response from them, let alone lead to a good dialogue," he said, in a firm, but composed manner.

The two were challenged on gyms being a safe environment in terms of 'sweating, touching surfaces, heavy breathing and coming into contact with metal' Cobbold took this question and pushed back hard on all claims, explaining how safety protocols would eliminate these risks and how sweat does not transmit COVID-19.

He also explained how density of people in gyms will be managed to reduce risk, saying: "We can actually control the number of people who come in to the gym."

It's unfortunate that the news channels are lining up random scientists to speak against the gym sector, without having anyone from the sector to debate the points they're raising, with one – Dr Claire Taylor, a microbiologist from Edinburgh Napier University, making an unchallenged point on the programme that: "perspex screens may help, but they may end up covered in respiratory droplets and could end up being a potential site for contamination, “ something the gym sector has anticipated and covered in it’s new operating guidelines.

Huw Edwards appeared on the BBC's 6.00 o'clock news as part of a news segment that also featured swimmer, Adam Peaty. Peaty said "There has been a lack of clarity from the government and I don't feel the decision has been explained to any athlete or sports governing body."

Edwards said: “Everyone is desperate for a pint, but the reality is that this is a health crisis, and the best way to address a health crisis is by getting one of the key sectors that can combat COVID-19 and support the rehabilitation from COVID-19 up and running.”






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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
PRODUCT NEWS
Industry heavyweights Tanni Grey-Thompson, Humphrey Cobbold and Huw Edwards hit primetime TV to fight for gym reopening
25 Jun 2020 . BY Liz Terry
Cobbold and Grey-Thompson hit the BBC's 5.00 o'clock news to fight for the gym sector
Photo: BBC
Tanni Grey-Thompson, Chair of ukactive, Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of Pure Gym and ukactive board member and Huw Edwards CEO of ukactive, all appeared on the UK's BBC prime time TV last night (24 June) to represent the gym sector and challenge the government's "pubs before gyms" decision which looks likely to delay reopening of the activity sector until mid-July at the earliest.

The appearance follows Grey-Thompson's open letter to prime minister, Boris Johnson, yesterday, which called on him to justify his decision with science, allow the sector access to the chief medical officer and formally explain the reasons for not allowing reopening.

The challenge appears to be that the sector has still been classed as a ‘close proximity’ business – in spite of the detailed operating procedures which have been put in place.

In a doubleheader interview on the BBC’s 5.00 o'clock news programme, Grey-Thompson and Cobbold made the case for reopening, explaining how operating procedures will work. They also highlighted the economic impact of the sector, which employs 600,000 people, serves 10m members and turns over £7.7bn a year.

Savings to the health service of £3.3bn were also mentioned.

"We are just asking the government to think again," said Grey-Thompson. "The sector has been amazing in the way it's worked together. We've had really detailed plans in with the government since May 7th – in fact, the sector started looking at this and planning as we went into lockdown, so we are prepared."

"We want to reopen safely," she said, "we're very concerned that our contribution to the economy and to health and wellbeing seems to have been forgotten."

Grey-Thompson was asked if she felt something had been hidden or there was some kind of cover-up going on. She said: "We've been in more discussions and debates than I can count, and it feels as though we've just been pushed around in circles. It would be good to have some feedback to say what more the government wants the sector to do because we're prepared to do it."

Cobbold said: "We're bitterly disappointed – we've worked extremely hard to develop a series of safety protocols with medical experts in their fields, including Professor Greg Whyte, and we've worked – we thought – very closely with the government and their advisers in the DCMS to prepare those protocols.

"It was a big surprise that we weren't allowed to proceed yesterday, because up to that point we were given absolutely no indication that there were issues.”

Cobbold highlighted how Pure Gym's European clubs have been open for up to six weeks, using the same protocols as laid out in the ukactive guidelines that were presented to the DCMS on 7 May,.

He said: "I run a business which has 230 sites that are already open across Europe, so we've had had the opportunity to test the protocols we proposed putting in place in the UK.

"We've welcomed over a million people to our sites in Switzerland and Denmark in the last six weeks, we've been tested by the authorities 60 or 70 times and passed all those tests and as far as we're aware, we haven't had a single infection or transmission in those facilities.

"We're puzzling why this evidence – all of which has been provided to the government, didn't' even elicit a response from them, let alone lead to a good dialogue," he said, in a firm, but composed manner.

The two were challenged on gyms being a safe environment in terms of 'sweating, touching surfaces, heavy breathing and coming into contact with metal' Cobbold took this question and pushed back hard on all claims, explaining how safety protocols would eliminate these risks and how sweat does not transmit COVID-19.

He also explained how density of people in gyms will be managed to reduce risk, saying: "We can actually control the number of people who come in to the gym."

It's unfortunate that the news channels are lining up random scientists to speak against the gym sector, without having anyone from the sector to debate the points they're raising, with one – Dr Claire Taylor, a microbiologist from Edinburgh Napier University, making an unchallenged point on the programme that: "perspex screens may help, but they may end up covered in respiratory droplets and could end up being a potential site for contamination, “ something the gym sector has anticipated and covered in it’s new operating guidelines.

Huw Edwards appeared on the BBC's 6.00 o'clock news as part of a news segment that also featured swimmer, Adam Peaty. Peaty said "There has been a lack of clarity from the government and I don't feel the decision has been explained to any athlete or sports governing body."

Edwards said: “Everyone is desperate for a pint, but the reality is that this is a health crisis, and the best way to address a health crisis is by getting one of the key sectors that can combat COVID-19 and support the rehabilitation from COVID-19 up and running.”






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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.
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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.
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Gympass has launched Gympass Plus - including an on-demand platform powered by Wexer - for its 2,200+ operator partners. The platform comprises more than 500 workouts from 18 content providers including Zumba and Gaiam.
What’s your Covid-19 exit strategy? How will you use this time to relaunch your business to thrive, not just survive
There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
Incorpore and MoveGB ink groundbreaking partnership to transform corporate wellness offering
Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
fibodo launches Fit 4 the Fight initiative to keep people active in the wake of the coronavirus
fibodo, a booking management platform for the fitness industry, has launched Fit 4 the Fight, a new initiative encouraging members of the public to keep active, as well as keep personal trainers and fitness operators working in the wake of the coronavirus.
Crown collaborates on £2m luxury spa at Torbay’s Lincombe Hall hotel
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+ More products   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
Pavigym

Known as the number one go-to for flooring and for their unique PRAMA interactive range, PAVIGYM pri [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Technogym mywellness app
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

16-17 Jul 2020

APSWC Round Table 2020

Naman Resort, Da Nang, Vietnam
03-05 Aug 2020

World Fitness & Wellness Summit

Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

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