Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre backs petition to keep gyms open
Everyone Active’s Managing Director raised concerns about the tougher effect on the public this time round
Leisure centres across Dacorum are backing the petition to keep gyms open and are pushing to be recognised as an ‘essential service’ amid month-long closures due to the second lockdown.
Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre., Berkhamsted Leisure Centre and Jarman Park Athletics Track managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active in partnership with Dacorum Borough Council, had been forced to close for a prolonged period starting in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter from Everyone Active’s Managing Director, David Bibby, concerns were raised about the tougher effect on the public this time round, with shorter hours of sunlight and colder weather affecting mental health and the motivation for people to exercise outdoors.
Research by industry body ukactive shows that 58% of people managed their mental health by being active during the last lockdown, emphasising the role gyms and leisure facilities can play in providing vital sanctuaries for health and wellbeing this winter.
Following the reopening of leisure facilities in July, Everyone Active, like other providers, implemented a host of strict operational measures to ensure the utmost safety across gym, swimming, group exercise and activities to protect both customers and colleagues.
This included online booking systems to manage capacity at its centres and rigorous cleaning regimes, which it believes contributes to the low transmission rate reported across UK gyms.
However, these efforts have been met with the news of a month’s closure rather than recognition of the statistical data which reinforces the safe use of leisure centres.
Steve Cox, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “This is an incredibly difficult time for the leisure industry and our centres in Dacorum.
“We are urging our members to get behind us and to support their local centre by signing the petition to encourage the Government to keep gyms open - petition.parliament.uk/petitions/333869.
"We're so proud of all our colleagues for their hard work and dedication to providing a safe environment for our customers and can’t wait to reopen our doors once again.”
To read Everyone Active’s Managing Director, David Bibby’s letter in full, click here.