Sheffield gym excited to re-open “lifeline” for community

Photo of gym members training in cycling exercise class

A Sheffield gym has said it is excited about the prospect of re-opening its “lifeline” for the community.

Danny Pilkington, 52, owner of Prime Mover Fitness gym in Sheffield City Centre, said: “We are building up towards re-opening. It’s a six-week programme. It’s like pre-season in sports, delivering a pre-season to get people ready for gyms re-opening.

“Our members cannot wait to come back. When we re-open, things will come back to some sort of normality and that’s what they need. They come to our gym for the community. People come to the gym not just for the fitness. It’s a lifeline.

“The feedback we get from our members is that without their lifeline of a gym, their life could be so much worse.

“It is probably the most important thing. The social interaction, the physical side, how good you feel after training, knowing you are in a safe, clean environment.”

Under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, indoor leisure centres are scheduled to re-open on 12 April as part of Step 2.

This is subject to an assessment based on four tests, including infection rates not risking a surge in hospitalisations.

To ensure the facilities are safe to re-open, Mr Pilkington said: “We have installed hand sanitisers at every entrance and exit. Each member has got their own area where they train. They are working on their own so there is no transferring of kit.

“They come in, hand sanitise, train, cool down, leave.

“We have two rooms and each has their own entrance and exit. There are spaces between classes, so there is no crossover between classes. These measures keep everything safe.”

Mr Pilkington also explained how the gym has adapted its activities during the pandemic: “We have provided three classes a day live. We have pre-recorded classes. We have nutrition and recipe books. We deliver everything we usually deliver online.

“We are going to keep our online programmes going. It gives us another string to our bow.”

He expressed his appreciation for the financial support received during the pandemic, including an initial £10,000 grant received during the first lockdown and an additional £1300 during the lockdown prior to Christmas.

He said: “Without the grants, I am sure some businesses would have gone under already.

“But we are prudent with the finances. All our staff are self-employed. We have not had to furlough anybody.”

Written by Nelson Walker

Second Year BA Journalism Studies student at The University of Sheffield. Blog writer for Motion Exercise. Forge Press and Forge Radio contributor.

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