Kamloops Gym Owners Explain Why They Are Open Despite Order
No Limits Fitness co-owners Darren Maywood and Justin Grover say they represent five local gyms, call on province to consider fitness ‘essential’
While a public health order demanded the closure of fitness facilities in British Columbia effective Thursday, December 23, several gyms in Kamloops have remained open regardless of the restrictions.
No Limits Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Anytime Fitness, Ladies Only Fitness and Strength Camp Kamloops remained open on Thursday.
No Limits Fitness co-owners Darren Maywood and Justin Grover met with reporters Thursday on behalf of the group, which calls on the province to consider fitness “essential.” They are also considering a class action lawsuit, noting that legal counsel has been retained and the group has been contacted by facilities across the province.
“We’re just not going to close,” Grover said. “We are working on setting up a class action suit. We are getting ready. We have support in Vernon. We have support in Penticton, Kelowna, Prince George, Langley, Nanaimo, Terrace, Trail. They contacted us.
Maywood added, “We went from five gyms in Kamloops yesterday morning to when I last checked we are in our 30s in the province. “
Grover said gyms have followed all public health orders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 – shutting down for three months, canceling classes, checking vaccine passports, adhering to mask requirements and cleaning protocols.
Grover said they were concerned about the mental health of customers without access to fitness facilities, noting that the decision to remain open – which could result in hefty fines from the provincial government – did is not related to finances.
“They are [public health] recognizing that you can go eat fried pickles and get messed up in a pub with cheap squeeze and that’s essential, but the person who is 20 in AA and uses a fitness center to keep his head straight, she doesn’t recognize it, ”Grover said.
While provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry said fitness facilities were a place of transmission of COVID-19, Maywood said COVID-19 outbreaks did not occur at the facilities. Kamloops Fitness Center.
Maywood and Grover are both vaccinated and keep their facilities clean and safe.
“You’re not going to find a cleaner facility in town,” Maywood said.
The couple pointed out contradictions in public health orders. Maywood asked why malls would be allowed to stay open on Boxing Day, with people side by side looking for bargains. Grover pointed out that thousands of jubilant fans were attending hockey games in large arenas and asked why government cannabis and liquor stores remained open.
The Kamloops YMCA has closed its gymnasium and canceled fitness classes. However, its sauna, hot tub and swimming pool remain open.
“This closure makes no sense,” Maywood said. “And the push that we got from the members when it was announced – people are like, ‘We did it all. We have a double vaxx. We did it all. Now are they taking us out of the gym again? Where does it end? “
The timing of the announcement and the restrictions are also criticized. Maywood said no notice was provided. He noted that the Christmas season can lead to depression – a time of high stress, high bills, and overeating and drinking. January and February are the busiest months of the year for gyms as they get a push from people looking to fulfill New Year’s resolutions.
“They’re putting their bad choices on us as an industry and that’s not OK,” Grover said.
Under the public health ordinance, gymnasiums have been ordered to remain closed until at least January 18.
Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are scheduled to hold a press conference on Friday, December 24 at 10 a.m. to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in British Columbia.