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FITREC highlights ‘heartbreaking’ impact of Victoria’s Coronavirus lockdown
Melbourne-based fitness registration organisation FITREC has advised that Victoria’s current Coronavirus lockdown is proving “heartbreaking” for fitness professionals, explaining that “many fitness professionals and businesses in Victoria are having to cope with a loss of, in many cases, 100% of income”.
In a communication to fitness professionals and industry stakeholders, FITREC Managing Director, Dennis Hosking also advised “beyond the financial strain, the lockdown is taking a toll on the mental health of us all”, noting “based in Victoria, I and the FITREC team are acutely aware of the impact these restrictions are having on both our local communities and the state’s fitness industry.
“Indeed, the impact of the current restriction is testing the resilience of industries across the board.”
Going on to address current issues impacting the fitness industry and, in particular, operations in Victoria, Hosking addresses a series of key issues in his communication.
Addressing the calls for lockdown exemptions for fitness professionals filming in their studios, Hosking advises “last week we received a call suggesting that we campaign for an exemption for fitness professionals.
“While we remain strong advocates for the industry and for the rights of fitness professionals, the reality is that any short term gain that concessions for our industry might provide puts us at risk of further and repeated lockdowns.”
“Following are key considerations when considering any challenge to the existing lockdown (as)
Victoria is officially in (a) 'State of Disaster'.
“Without question, the single goal of everyone in Victoria is to stop this secondary infection. The ease with which COVID-19 spreads means that any exemption could become a window of opportunity for transmission. Until this virus is under control, we are not going to see any return to normal in our industry.”
Pointing out that “clients and members take their lead from fitness professionals”, Hosking (pictured below) explains how clients value advice not only in relation to diet and exercise but also in “observing how we conduct ourselves in our daily lives.
“We have a duty to exemplify best practice (which) in the current environment means showing that we understand the importance of social isolation.
“Filming workout sessions, for example, in the confines of your home/yard not only demonstrates best practice, it shows empathy for the situation your clients and members are currently in.”
Noting that “if we want more respect as an industry, we need to show we are team players”, Hosking emphasises “the fitness industry has always desired a closer connection to allied health and medical services (and), under normal circumstances, we are a key part of preventative health and rehabilitation.
“At this time, the greatest thing we can offer is solidarity. With many in our healthcare system giving so much of themselves, at great personal risk, now is not the time to be inadvertently adding to their load. Now is the time for us to say to the wider health community, ‘We’ve got your back’.”
Explaining that “there is no fitness business until this is under control”, Hosking points to Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews’ comments on 3rd August that ‘if (the current restrictions) don’t work, we’ll need a much longer list of complete shutdowns”.
Endorsing this, Hosking adds “again, now is not the time for any industry to be pushing for exceptions. We need to work together to get this under control. The longer we’re in lockdown, the more fitness businesses and professionals are going to suffer.
“For these reasons, FITREC will continue to support the government’s strict short-term lockdown in the hope of avoiding any further extension of these restrictions.
“During this time, we will continue to support all members as much as possible.”
Beyond its usual support, FITREC has introduced additional initiatives for members that include:
Extending all Victorian registrations by four months.
With FITREC’s initial extension provided for all Australian registered professionals ending in September, this additional four-month extension is, as Hosking explains “obviously longer than we are expecting to be in lockdown, but we wanted to be sure that no Victorian professional had the added expense of a renewal that coincided with Christmas.”
Panel Q&A Sessions and income generation ideas
Beginning soon, FITREC will host a panel of presenters with the skills and experience to answer any questions as well as provide examples of how others have broadened their earning potential during this time.
Details will be posted on the FITREC home page.
Hosking concludes “in addition to the above, we’ve been actively working on and investing in projects to benefit our members in the years to come.
“We’ll provide more on these projects in the near future.”
For more information go to www.fitrec.org
11th August 2020 - Fitness facilities at the crossroads and demanding new approaches
7th July 2020 - Industry impacted by new Victorian Coronavirus lockdown
15th June 2020 - Survey suggests Australian gyms facing massive membership decline
7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed
7th October 2019 - FITREC eases path to fitness employment for exercise and sport students
29th March 2019 - FITREC announces new registration options
27th September 2018 - FITREC names Mel Tempest as Global Ambassador
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