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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Welsh government considering splitting gyms into categories based on 'risk' and phasing reopening of larger and smaller sites

Welsh government accused of ignoring science
Government prioritises hairdressers and barbers, while offering no clarity on possible reopening of health clubs
First Minister Drakeford on a collision course with physical activity sector for second time in three weeks
ukactive CEO Huw Edwards says Drakeford's decisions "not driven by scientific advice"
ukactive will continue to work with the Welsh Government and its Welsh stakeholder partners to explore all available options to ensure the swift reopening of our facilities
– Huw Edwards

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, says the Welsh government is considering breaking the gym sector down into different categories, based on 'risk', and reopening some gyms and health clubs before others.

"I've been reading evidence recently that says we shouldn't treat all gyms the same," he said. "Up until now that is what we have done, we have treated gyms as one class and have kept either all of them closed or all of them open.

"The evidence I have been reading says that gyms that are well ventilated, have large premises and are modern have risks which are at the modest end of the spectrum.

"If they are carefully run the risks can be mitigated.

"However, gyms that are small, a bit old-fashioned, have not much ventilation and lots of people close by one another have risks that are likely to be significantly greater.

"I want to use the weeks ahead to talk with our environmental health officers and the sector to work out if we can have a more differentiated approach to reopening gyms rather than it being all or nothing."

Drakeford has been accused of ignoring scientific advice, after the Welsh government failed to offer any details on when fitness facilities might be able to reopen.

On Friday, he announced, somewhat surprisingly, that hairdressers and barbers would be prioritised for reopening and could welcome back customers from today (Monday 15 March) and that this would be followed, nearly a month later on 12 April, by the reopening of the retail sector – including all close contact services.

However, his statement did not include any mention of health clubs or leisure centres.

He was challenged over this oversight in an interview with WalesOnline.

When asked whether it was "fair to assume that gyms won't even be considered for reopening until April 12" – Drakeford said: "I think that is pretty accurate.

"Leisure centres and gyms will be on the list of things that we are thinking about for the second half of April," he said.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said the latest update from the First Minister provided "little clarity" – and that, damningly, the continued delays to reopening were "not driven by scientific advice".

“On 3 March, the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Cell (TAC) met with representatives from ukactive, the sector and the ukactive Scientific Advisory Group,” he said.

"At this meeting, the TAC confirmed there was no new evidence to substantiate the claims made by the First Minister on 19 February that gyms, pools, and leisure centres pose a greater risk coming out of this latest lockdown, compared to other sectors.

“Furthermore, comments from the First Minister on 12 March have sought to differentiate between types of facilities,” said Edwards.

“However, the sector’s framework – co-authored with the Government and scientific experts – sets the benchmark for reopening and all facilities must achieve these standards, regardless of size or age.

“Given the misrepresentation previously provided, and the excellent safety record the sector has, we have urged the Welsh Government to address this misrepresentation, and provide a clear and timely pathway for the reopening of these essential facilities.

"Given comments by the First Minister, this has not happened, much to the growing anger and frustration of the sector in Wales.

“The treatment of gyms, pools, and leisure centres over the past few weeks has been unacceptable, and ukactive will continue to work with the Welsh Government and its Welsh stakeholder partners to explore all available options to ensure the swift reopening of our facilities,” concluded Edwards.

This is the second time in the past few weeks that the First Minister has angered the sector.

On 19 February,

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, says the Welsh government is considering breaking the gym sector down into different categories, based on 'risk', and reopening some gyms and health clubs before others.
PTS,SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PUB
2021/THUMB347344_945264_799541.jpg
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01-07 Dec 2022
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Diary dates

News

Welsh government considering splitting gyms into categories based on 'risk' and phasing reopening of larger and smaller sites

Welsh government accused of ignoring science
Government prioritises hairdressers and barbers, while offering no clarity on possible reopening of health clubs
First Minister Drakeford on a collision course with physical activity sector for second time in three weeks
ukactive CEO Huw Edwards says Drakeford's decisions "not driven by scientific advice"
ukactive will continue to work with the Welsh Government and its Welsh stakeholder partners to explore all available options to ensure the swift reopening of our facilities
– Huw Edwards

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, says the Welsh government is considering breaking the gym sector down into different categories, based on 'risk', and reopening some gyms and health clubs before others.

"I've been reading evidence recently that says we shouldn't treat all gyms the same," he said. "Up until now that is what we have done, we have treated gyms as one class and have kept either all of them closed or all of them open.

"The evidence I have been reading says that gyms that are well ventilated, have large premises and are modern have risks which are at the modest end of the spectrum.

"If they are carefully run the risks can be mitigated.

"However, gyms that are small, a bit old-fashioned, have not much ventilation and lots of people close by one another have risks that are likely to be significantly greater.

"I want to use the weeks ahead to talk with our environmental health officers and the sector to work out if we can have a more differentiated approach to reopening gyms rather than it being all or nothing."

Drakeford has been accused of ignoring scientific advice, after the Welsh government failed to offer any details on when fitness facilities might be able to reopen.

On Friday, he announced, somewhat surprisingly, that hairdressers and barbers would be prioritised for reopening and could welcome back customers from today (Monday 15 March) and that this would be followed, nearly a month later on 12 April, by the reopening of the retail sector – including all close contact services.

However, his statement did not include any mention of health clubs or leisure centres.

He was challenged over this oversight in an interview with WalesOnline.

When asked whether it was "fair to assume that gyms won't even be considered for reopening until April 12" – Drakeford said: "I think that is pretty accurate.

"Leisure centres and gyms will be on the list of things that we are thinking about for the second half of April," he said.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said the latest update from the First Minister provided "little clarity" – and that, damningly, the continued delays to reopening were "not driven by scientific advice".

“On 3 March, the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Cell (TAC) met with representatives from ukactive, the sector and the ukactive Scientific Advisory Group,” he said.

"At this meeting, the TAC confirmed there was no new evidence to substantiate the claims made by the First Minister on 19 February that gyms, pools, and leisure centres pose a greater risk coming out of this latest lockdown, compared to other sectors.

“Furthermore, comments from the First Minister on 12 March have sought to differentiate between types of facilities,” said Edwards.

“However, the sector’s framework – co-authored with the Government and scientific experts – sets the benchmark for reopening and all facilities must achieve these standards, regardless of size or age.

“Given the misrepresentation previously provided, and the excellent safety record the sector has, we have urged the Welsh Government to address this misrepresentation, and provide a clear and timely pathway for the reopening of these essential facilities.

"Given comments by the First Minister, this has not happened, much to the growing anger and frustration of the sector in Wales.

“The treatment of gyms, pools, and leisure centres over the past few weeks has been unacceptable, and ukactive will continue to work with the Welsh Government and its Welsh stakeholder partners to explore all available options to ensure the swift reopening of our facilities,” concluded Edwards.

This is the second time in the past few weeks that the First Minister has angered the sector.

On 19 February,

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, says the Welsh government is considering breaking the gym sector down into different categories, based on 'risk', and reopening some gyms and health clubs before others.
PTS,SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PUB
2021/THUMB347344_945264_799541.jpg

News

Industry body ukactive has joined the chorus of organisations across a number of sectors calling
German fitness operator BestFit Group has acquired regional gym chain EuroFit for an undisclosed sum.
The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due
Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of
Xponential Fitness has completed its initial public offering (IPO), becoming the second major franchised operator
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff
The Gym Group has extended its partnership with digital fitness platform Fiit, becoming the first
The world's largest fitness trade fair, FIBO, has been rescheduled again and will now take
Rainer Schaller, founder of budget gym megabrand McFIT, says that the global fitness industry will
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Innovatise UK Ltd
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Digital fitness content provider, Wexer, is launching a new wellness resource on its connected Web
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Aspria Holdings, owner of eight premium wellbeing clubs in Germany, Belgium and Italy, has entered
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Miha Bodytec GmbH
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1 - 20 of 11,976
HCM Magazine
Training
This training is vital to ensure we’re creating leaders who understand how they can create a joined-up approach to health and wellness
HCM Magazine
Product innovation
“A great atmosphere is just as important to the fitness journey as the right workout routine, says LEDSnaps’ CEO, Ian Kirby
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Game designers have figured out how to keep people unhealthily addicted to games. If only you could be the hero in a game that levelled up your life
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Jo Farrier, head of commercial and resources at Active Northumberland, talks about how a strategic partnership with Technogym is changing public perceptions of council leisure facilities
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
With gyms reopening as the fitness industry recovers from the impact of lockdowns, members are seeking social interaction and engaging training experiences in a small group setting
HCM Magazine
Research
The results from the first Moving Communities Customer Experience survey present a positive picture of overall satisfaction with local authority facilities, explains Mike Hill
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Every gym design project should be designed from the floor up, says Physical Company’s James Anderson. He tells HCM why
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
With local authority facility management companies and councils under financial pressure due to the pandemic and issues emerging around health inequalities, will we see a trend towards councils insourcing the management of facilities? Kath Hudson rounds up views
HCM magazine
The pandemic has disrupted everything and as businesses across the leisure industry reshape themselves to survive and thrive, new competition is emerging that will change the sector
HCM magazine
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Stelian Iacob

Stelian Iacob, CEO and senior VP, Therme Group
We’re seeing a much greater focus on the need to integrate healthy living into daily life and reconnect with nature and each other
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: A new world for memberships
During lockdown clients have had more time to self-reflect than ever before. As a result, many are prioritising mental health and incorporating activity into their day to improve overall wellbeing.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: LEDSnaps announces lighting grant for gyms
At LEDSnaps, we’re acutely aware of the financial strain government lockdowns have put on our industry and how important it is to get new and existing members back into the gym.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Video Gallery
FreeMotion Fitness
Pendex
MyZone Group Ltd
Company profiles
Company profile: EGYM UK Ltd
EGYM empowers gym operators to deliver a workout experience that supports their members' lifelong fitness ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Perfect Gym Solutions S.A.
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Changing concept
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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