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Fitness Australia and Vic Active demand exercise facilities be allowed to open in regional Victoria
Fitness Australia in partnership with VicActive are uniting in a ‘call to arms’ this Thursday to push for gyms, fitness facilities, yoga and Pilates studios to be allowed to open in regional Victoria.
‘Call to arms’ events will be staged right across regional Victoria at 10.30am on Thursday 10th June, with Fitness Australia and VicActive encouraging all business owners to simultaneously hold their own event.
Advising that the industry in Victoria had again been treated unfairly by not being allowed to reopen in line with other industries, when data shows fitness facilities are safer than hospitality,
Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish stated “we are fed up with Victorian Government officials saying gyms are ‘high risk’ and must remain closed.
“This data is incorrect and we are demanding answers from Professor Sutton as to why they are continuing to use these statements as their justification to keep gyms, fitness facilities, Yoga and Pilates studios closed longer than other industries.”
Explaining that gyms that had COVID cases attend their facilities prior to the current lockdown had resulted in no cases of transmission, showing the strict COVID-Safe practices in place do work to prevent the spread, Elvish noted “six gyms were identified as locations where COVID cases had visited. All visitors to these facilities, who were able to be traced through electronic gym check-in data, have now passed their 14-day quarantine period with zero cases of transmission reported. This shows that our robust COVID-Safe practices work in preventing the spread.”
Current Captain Australian Women’s Volleyball Team and Captain of Melbourne Vipers Volleyball Team, Kelly Lean, said gyms have never been cleaner and provided a more conducive environment to exercise especially during the Victorian Winter.
Lean stated “with the amount of turnover in the gym comes the high rate of sterilisation being implemented by the users and the gyms themselves. Ensuring people are doing the right thing is important but more than ever, gym users are opting to do the right thing to make sure that these places of health stay open. It’s everyone willing to work together to stay safe and open.
“Gyms are just as vital for good health as attending physios, doctors and dieticians. Most people train with professionals to ensure safety, to promote their bone and muscle development for long term health impacts. Injuries occur when the body is not well taken care of, to cease this for any individual whether they be an athlete, or a first-time gym goer, movement of the body is so important to ensure it is strong enough to get through the rest of the toll that we put on in just in everyday life."
Elvish expects tomorrow’s ‘call to arms’ to put the spotlight on the fitness industry and the lack of engagement from the Government who continue to use incorrect and outdated ‘high risk’ statements rather than real industry data.
He added “on Thursday we are calling for the industry across regional Victoria to stand united against the unfairness and inconsistency the Government has shown our industry. More transmission cases associated with this latest lockdown have been within a hospitality or retail setting, yet in regional Victoria they have been allowed to reopen. Meanwhile gyms, Pilates and yoga studios, and other fitness facilities where no transmission has occurred must remain closed, its madness.
“In addition, by keeping these businesses closed, owners are not eligible for Federal Government assistance making it even hard for these small business owners to survive.”
Fitness Australia and VicActive have four regional events taking place on Thursday in Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland and Kyabram.
VIC Active, alongside Fitness Australia, has advocated that fitness centres provide a vital service to the community both in terms of physical and mental health benefits.
2nd March 2021 - VIC Active continues to highlight the safety of fitness centres
23rd November 2020 - VIC Active questions remaining caps on Victorian gym operations
15th November 2020 - VIC Active calls for immediate unrestricted opening of Victoria’s gyms
27th May 2021 - Victoria Government announces seven-day lockdown
1st December 2020 - Fitness Australia partners with Latrobe University to launch industry survey
8th October 2020 - Fitness Australia releases research showing impact of lockdown gym closures
25th September 2020 - Fitness Australia asserts there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID-19
18th September 2020 - Operator questions Fitness Australia’s 26th October reopening claim for Victorian gyms
10th September 2020 - Fitness Australia confirms Melbourne gyms to reopen from 26th October
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