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Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish ‘perplexed’ by ongoing restrictions on operation of exercise facilities in regional Victoria
Fitness Australia Chief Executive Barrie Elvish has suggested that “head scratching may be the only permitted indoor exercise for many Victorians” in the wake of last Thursday’s announcement by the Victorian Government of lockdown relaxations across most regional areas of the state.
While welcoming the easing, especially the ability for groups of 10 people to participate in outdoor exercise, Elvish stated “the ongoing closure of indoor exercise facilities, including gyms, leisure centres, yoga and Pilates studios and dance schools within the same regions is perplexing; especially given the fact that these venues state wide were opened at the same time as hospitality after the previous lockdown with no reported virus transmissions.”
Elvish (pictured) went on to stated “Fitness Australia, despite seeking clarification from the Victorian Health authorities, has been given no explanation for this apparent backward step.
“This is incredibly disappointing for not just the business owners and the personal trainers, teachers and exercise professionals who provide classes and programs, but for the 900,000 Victorians who are being denied their regular exercise activity and setting of choice, for no apparent reason.
“Although independent data demonstrates COVID transmission is five times more likely to occur in hospitality venues than indoor excise facilities, Fitness Australia does not support closing other sectors but rather for the government to be consistent, transparent and equitable in its decision making.
“Indoor exercise and physical activity are safe when COVID-Safe protocols are in place, as evidenced by every other Australian state jurisdiction, including the planned NSW reopening road map that has gyms reopening in line with other industries provided social distancing restrictions are adhered to.
“Getting the community back to their chosen exercise or fitness routine will deliver a much-needed boost to the mental health and wellbeing of Victorians, an alarming situation as evidenced by increasing mental wellbeing calls to organisations such as Lifeline who are experiencing 40% more calls 2 years ago.
“Ongoing engagement between the Victorian Government and the fitness industry must continue and is vital to the long-term sustainability of our sector while ensuring the ongoing safety of the community remains top of mind.”
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7th September 2021 - Fitness Australia launches dedicated Aqua Exercise Instructor registration
20th August 2021 - Melbourne 24/7 gym continues to charge member fees during lockdown
29th July 2021 - Fitness Australia advises of concessions achieved for gym reopenings
3rd July 2021 - Fitness Australia invites input on industry trends survey
23rd February 2021 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish highlights the value of health
2nd March 2021 - VIC Active continues to highlight the safety of fitness centres
15th February 2021 - Regional Victoria launches first Seniors Exercise Park in Ballarat
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
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