Gym rules a huge relief

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Gym co-owner Matt Dyson, personal trainers Mark Giardini and Steve Morley and co-owner Jourdana Dyson.
Camera IconGym co-owner Matt Dyson, personal trainers Mark Giardini and Steve Morley and co-owner Jourdana Dyson. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph

The further easing of COVID-19 restrictions across WA has lifted a huge weight from the shoulders of 24/7 gyms in Rockingham and Kwinana, which can now open unstaffed for the first time since closing months ago.

Under the Stage 3 restrictions, gyms were allowed to open only when staffed, which meant many 24/7 gyms which relied on unstaffed hours struggled to stay afloat.

24/7 Power Fitness Rockingham was one gym which struggled during stage three and co-owner Matt Dyson said he had worked 75 hours a week to help fill the daytime hours which were normally unstaffed.

“The biggest impact has been the increase in staffed hours and the associated expense,” he said. “We’ll see a massive reduction in hours worked, which will reduce costs and the fatigue issues associated with working around 75 hours per week, which as owners we've had to do.”

Mr Dyson said being so overworked had been getting unbearable and he had been frustrated by “inconstancies” of the restrictions.

He said he had been confused why gyms could not open unstaffed, yet gym equipment could be shared in classes and contact sport was allowed.

Mr Dyson created an online petition and garnered over 600 signatures, which he was going to present to WA Premier Mark McGowan before the Stage 4 restrictions were announced.

“I'd like to thank the Premier, Mark McGowan. Despite having an issue with the staffing arrangements, the WA Government has done a very good job managing the pandemic which has now allowed WA the freedom the easing of these restrictions will give.”

Under the new restrictions, members of 24/7 gyms will now be able to train when they want, which Mr Dyson said would be a huge relief to many members.

“This will help out our shift workers, parents with children, weekend trainers or members who just like to train when the gym is much quieter,” he said. “Members will still be required to comply with our current rules, that is train with a towel and use disinfectant spray.”

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