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GLL throws its weight behind petition to get gyms open in first wave of reopenings

By Tom Walker    28 Jan 2021
The petition calls for gyms to reopen first after lockdown, as well as for a Work Out to Help Out Scheme / Shuttertstock.com/Kzenon
It’s vital that leisure is not overlooked again as we come out of lockdown 3. That’s why we're calling on all our customers to sign this parliamentary petition
– Mark Sesnan

The UK’s largest social enterprise, GLL, is the latest operator to throw its support behind a parliamentary petition calling for gyms to reopen first after the current national lockdown.

GLL, which manages more than 258 facilities under its Better brand, is urging all its customers to sign the petition, which also calls for a Work Out to Help Out scheme similar to last summer’s successful scheme in the hospitality sector.

Work Out to Help Out would see the government backing the relaunch of the fitness sector, so it can claw back some of the lost New Year business.

GLL chief executive, Mark Sesnan, said: "It’s vital that leisure is not overlooked again as we come out of lockdown 3 this Spring.

"That’s why we are calling on all our customers to sign this parliamentary petition.

“Physical activity is the key to the nation’s recovery post-COVID.

"We’ve supported our customers throughout the lockdowns with our online offer, but for those who are itching to get back into the pool or gym, we want to be there for them at the soonest opportunity.”

The petition is live on the government's website and can be signed: by clicking here.

The petition has so far received nearly 28,000 signatures in seven days and will be considered for a debate in Parliament if it reaches 100,000.

Liz Terry, editor of HCM, said: "It's been hugely heartening to see the response to this petition and fantastic to see GLL throwing its weight behind it to help drive the momentum.

"We must ensure that we push this over the 100k threshold so the government can see the passion our members have for their gyms – it's vital we are well represented.

"Discussions are already underway within government about reopening plans, with Boris Johnson due to report on this to Parliament at the end of February – just a matter of weeks away – so there is not a moment to lose in pushing forward with this petition if we are to land it at a time when it can make a difference.

"Last year, we lacked influence, were left behind on reopening and saw pubs opening before gyms, which was a catastrophe.

Although we've made huge strides in terms of our standing since that time, thanks to the work of the industry and ukactive, we must to everything we can to ensure we don't find ourselves in the same position again this year.

"It's vital we are pro-active as an industry and represent while there is still time to make a difference.

"Things change so fast in this pandemic that it is far better to be early and be heard, rather than late and then to find that we are again fighting to claw back our position as we did last year.

"We welcome all suggestions as to how we can continue to drive this petition to success."

GLL  Mark Sesnan  COVID  Better  Parliamentary Petition  Liz Terry 
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