National fitness association slams non-compliant gyms
Just twenty-four hours after telling Interior Health they would comply with new fitness rules, owners of a West Kelowna gym are now saying they will not comply with provincial COVID-19 mandates.
“We made this decision based on a lack of data that the government was unable to provide to us, linking transmission to gyms,” said Brian Mark, co-owner of Iron Energy Gym.
Iron Energy Gym just had its business license reinstated on Thursday, after submitting a safety plan that was approved by Interior Health.
Only a day later, the owners apparently changed their position.
“We went to Interior Health and filed our safety plan. “We would like our dismissal to be revoked.” They revoked it and we went to city hall and got our business license back,” Mark said.
“We have our backs against the wall, we have been forced into this situation. Either we comply with all orders or we don’t get our license back. So yes, we were complying yesterday and today we have decided that we are no longer.
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A national non-profit association that represents more than 6,000 facilities said many fitness companies across Canada are going through a financial crisis and many are responding differently to the issue.
“We’re at a stage where people have their backs against the wall, and people are financially drained, emotionally drained, and feeling physically drained. People make different decisions when they’re in that position, people react differently,” said Sara Hodson, president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada.
She said the fitness council’s work with the province was the driving factor in the reopening of gyms in British Columbia.
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“Our approach is to be calm, respectful, to work with data and science, and to have a professional approach to it,” Hodson said.
“We knew that the relationship we had with provincial health was gaining ground. The interest, conversation and action that was needed to reopen (happened) and that is how fitness was eventually reopened in this province. “
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Hodson said all of their members are aligned with provincial health mandates. Iron Energy Gym is not a member of the FICC.
She said gyms that publicly defy provincial mandates could draw attention on social media.
“Most British Columbians aren’t interested in participating in fitness activities with a company that goes against the rules, which is to say, speaks this straight,” Hodson said.
“Every fitness company is out for attention and the groups that defy mandates and say ‘we oppose what reputable, mainstream fitness companies are doing’ are just people trying to get attention.”
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