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Planet Fitness Australia founder calls on governments to ‘open our gyms’

Planet Fitness Australia founder calls on governments to ‘open our gyms’
May 29, 2020

Dallas Rosekelly, founder and Director of Planet Fitness Australia, has released an impassioned statement calling for governments across Australia, and particularly the NSW Government, to allow gyms to reopen without restrictions.

With Fitness Australia this week suggesting that one in 10 Australian gyms and fitness centres might never reopen because of the financial loss suffered during the shutdown, Rosekelly told Australasian Leisure Management “I have kept quiet for too long, thinking someone else will lobby or push for the re-opening of gyms.

“There are some people starting to make noise, but in general our industry has not been represented.

“Enough is enough, it is time our politicians and decision makers understood the incredible benefits of gyms, health and fitness, and work with us to get our gyms open.”

Releasing an infographic (see below) highlighting the crucial role of fitness facilities in Australians' mental and physical health, Rosekelly recalled the day in late March when all gyms were forced to close, advising “a loyal member came to me and asked, ‘what will you do?’.

“I advised we would freeze all payments and memberships until we could re-open, to help our community who were struggling mentally and financially.

“She said, ‘but you will not have any income, so can I keep paying my membership to help you?’

“I politely declined and sincerely thanked her kind offer, but what she said next struck me. She informed me that she needed to come to the gym as she was a nurse and the gym helped reduce stress from her work.

“I’ve repeatedly heard other members exclaiming they need gyms to reopen for their mental health just as much as their physical. This is a firm reminder of why we operate fitness centres, and what we do for our members and community.

“Regular exercise reduces the risk of health concerns and diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, stress related illnesses and more.”

Beyond his heartfelt revelation, Rosekelly explain how operators will adhere to necessary restrictions “and enforce precautions to keep our members safe and healthy. These could include social distancing rules per square metre, more cleaning and sanitising stations, more staff to be cleaning at all times, making more processes contact-less, stay at home if you are sick guidelines, members to strictly follow having a towel and cleaning equipment after use and more.”

Rosekelly urges governments and relevant agencies to engage with fitness providers, concluding “come talk to us and help us re-open so we can help Australians get rid of some stress, freshen their mind, energise their body and start feeling mentally and physically well again.”

In the USA, 300 Planet Fitness locations reopened earlier this month, at which time the group's US-based Chief Executive Chris Rondeau advising that communicating clearly with employees, franchisees and members was a top priority in ongoing and future operations.

Rondeau advised "the big piece I’m really focused on is on our staff and our team members who run our stores. Without them, we can’t execute."

Images: Planet Fitness (above), Dallas Rosekelly (middle) and Planet Fitness' infographic on the value of gyms to the mental and physical health of Australians (below).

Related Articles

29th May 2020 - Fitness Australia releases Checklist to ensure gyms offer safe environments when reopening

28th May 2020 - Organisers advise of cancellation of all 2020 Fitness Show events

26th May 2020 - Call for fitness industry stakeholders around the world to unite on 1st June

25th May 2020 - ASSA calls on Fair Work Commission to freeze Fitness Industry Award

23rd May 2020 - Fitness Australia says governments should put peoples’ health and wellbeing above a drink at the pub

22nd May 2020 - NSW Deputy Premier expects gyms to be open again by July

21st May 2020 - NSW Minister provides Public Health Order exemption for swim squad training

21st May 2020 - Fitness Industry launches comprehensive operations framework for safe reopening of gyms

14th May 2020 - Experienced fitness operator addresses clubs’ ongoing hygiene and business challenges

13th May 2020 - Life Fitness helps guide safe reopenings of fitness and wellness centres

8th May 2020 - Fitness Australia welcomes Federal Government’s Coronavirus relaxations that focus on importance of exercise

6th May 2020 - Fitness Australia survey finds Australians keen to renew gym memberships

4th May 2020 - Fitness and wellness Industry organisations publish reopening guidance

1st May 2020 - Fitness Australia report shows massive impact of Coronavirus closures on the industry

22nd April 2020 - Australasian fitness industry looks to post Coronavirus operations

7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed

31st March 2020 - With clubs closed fitness providers go online

8th November 2019 - Planet Fitness confirms arrival in Australia

25th October 2019 - Planet Fitness arrives in Australia with $5 a week gym memberships

29th August 2019 - Planet Fitness to accelerate new club opening plans following strong financial performance

25th July 2019 - Planet Fitness planning Australian arrival with ‘Judgment Free’ clubs

9th May 2019 - Australians spend up to $250 per month on exercise and wellness

8th April 2018 - IBISWorld shows that 24/7 budget gyms have transformed Australian fitness

10th March 2018 - Gyms and fitness centres among Australia’s most successful franchise operations


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