Peel Gym Owners Prepare for Jan. 31 Vaccination Mandates | Mandurah Courier
With widespread vaccination mandates due to take place from January 31 in Western Australia, the health and wellness industry has had to adapt.
the To post contacted a number of independent and franchise Peel gyms to see how the proof of vaccination requirements would impact them in the coming months and how they will implement the new rules.
Fighter Fit Boxing Gym owner Danny Heyes had one of his biggest years yet in 2021, with a number of members winning titles at home, securing an expansion that will double the size of the gym and breaking a world record.
As the term date nears, Heyes said his gym could, for the most part, be operating normally.
“It shouldn’t really affect us too much, all but a few of our members are vaccinated and it’s their choice.”
He said while he supported the right of members to make their own choices, the mandates would mean those who chose not to be vaccinated could not enter the gymnasium until they were lifted.
“I get along very well with them and I have discussed it with them.
“My wife Kelly and I are fully vaccinated. Many have received their first shot and will be able to return once they have received their second.”
Heyes said the issue he was most concerned about was the spread of COVID and its impact on their ability to work, which is why it was important to him that he and his coaches be vaccinated.
“A few of our friends have gyms up east and had to close for a while because their coaches caught COVID. One is a husband and wife team like us and they have to close the whole gym until until they test negative.
“We are very lucky – we only had to close for three days last year and everything else was running normally.”
Anytime Fitness Falcon will give members the option to freeze their membership in hopes that terms will eventually be relaxed when the situation is under control, as has been the case in other states.
“We have our workout app that gives members access to over 1,100 workouts from home,” said Falcon franchise owner Tania Parsons.
“All members have access to these workouts whether they want to train at home or train in a park or at the beach.”
Steve Thompson is the co-founder of Feel Good Fitness WA, a gym specifically designed to introduce complete beginners to exercise.
He said, like Heyes, that 90-95% of his members are vaccinated, but he created an option for unvaccinated and COVID-positive customers.
“For members, we are currently starting a brand new mobile personal training business for people while warrants are in place,” Thompson said.
He added that now, more than ever, was an important time to focus on health and wellness.
“Health is wealth. We appeal to beginners and sometimes it’s easy for beginners to slip up, so we really thought about that.
“We have isolation pack options for members who have COVID, sweat-free options, and videos to browse.”
Thompson has seen a similar trend in eastern gyms, with fitness companies struggling to retain enough trainers during case surges.
“I spoke to people on the ground in Sydney and Melbourne and it was this logistical issue when there was an abundance of cases. It was difficult to keep enough trainers on the ground to run classes.
“It’s really important to have things in place in these situations.”
Daniel Tancock, owner of Florida Beach Fitness, said the mandate would impact six clients and two potential clients who were due to start with the gym in the new year.
“We have 130 active customers, so it’s a small number, but they’re very popular, so it’s a loss for our gym community.”
Tancock said the gym has started purchasing equipment for customers to use in their home workouts.
“Our commitment to improving and maintaining health and fitness does not change with the term. In fact, I believe they need us more than ever because of the mental benefits of regular exercise – something that will be even more important as things escalate with COVID in WA.”
Florida Beach Fitness will offer online Zoom workouts and plans to start outdoor sessions off premises for those who train in groups.
Vaccination mandates will be in place from January 31 and anyone wishing to enter a gym will need to provide proof of double vaccination.