Gym instructors and owners protest
STRAND – Employees of Truself Fitness Gym on Beach Road voiced their solidarity with the nationwide protest yesterday (Wednesday 5 August) against gym closures as one of the lockdown restrictions yet to be lifted.
Owners Eleanor and Nathanael Pekeur together with their staff expressed not only concern for their future and that of their employees, but also the well-being and health of all their clients.
“We have over 1 000 members, none of whom have been able to properly exercise for the past five months, and at a time when looking after one’s self has become so vital. We are here to say that gyms are essential,” said Eleanor.
Truself Fitness has been operating since 2010 and, despite challenges in the past, this is the most testing, she further admitted.
“Our intention was to stand on balconies and on the sidewalk with our placards to create awareness around this issue as is being done nationwide, but at the last minute we were told by the police that gatherings were flouting lockdown regulations and we were denied permission,” she explained, stressing that the fitness industry was ready to comply with the law, adhere to all regulations and implement strict policies to keep people safe.
The peaceful demonstrations took place countrywide from 12:00 to 14:00 yesterday and was headed by FitSA, the association of health and fitness clubs in the country.
The industry follows suit of national protests by the restaurant and tourism industries. A statement released by FitSA public relations officer, Magdaleen Botes, said the industry employs around 29 000 people.
“Jobs of employees across the industry are under enormous threat and taking a lot of strain. The fitness industry is completely left behind, with no support from government,” the statement read.