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Fit Together campaign launches to convince public it's safe to return to the gym

By Tom Walker    10 Jun 2020
The campaign will offer practical tools, advice and guidance based on the sector’s recommended framework for reopening / ukactive
More than two-thirds of our members agreed they would be confident to return to their local health club in June or July if the correct safety measures are in place
– Duncan Bannatyne

An industry-wide campaign will provide fitness operators with the practical resources needed to ensure a safe and successful return to business for the UK's gyms and leisure facilities.

Called Fit Together and launching today (10 June), the campaign is led by industry body ukactive and will offer practical tools, advice and guidance based on the sector’s recommended framework for reopening. The framework has been developed by ukactive, shaped through consultation with operators and approved by independent scientific advisors.

The campaign's focus will be on convincing the public that returning to gyms and leisure facilities will be safe.

At the heart of the campaign is a Fit Together toolkit, which provides fitness operators of all sizes with the tools they need to align with the framework and support their customers to maintain the social distancing measures recommended by the government – as well as the highest standards of cleanliness.

Operators that sign up to the Fit Together commitment statement will be able to display an approved stamp of compliance to provide assurance to customers.

The toolkit will include posters and signage – covering the core measures outlined in the framework – to be displayed at relevant points and areas within facilities.

These will provide customers with guidance on general behaviours and responsibilities; keeping a safe distance; use of equipment; out of use facilities; and instructions for swimming, outdoor areas and classes.

Operators will also be provided with free customisable signs and social media messages to raise awareness, while the Fit Together website has a shop which stocks further signage, such as floor stickers to direct customer flow through facilities.

A number of the UK's leading operators have backed the campaign.

Duncan Bannatyne, chair of The Bannatyne Group, said: “The Bannatyne Group fully supports ukactive’s Fit Together campaign.

“The sector is going to play a big part in supporting the recovery from Coronavirus, physically, mentally, and economically.

“We recently asked our members if they would be confident to return to their local health club in June or July if the correct safety measures are in place, and more than two-thirds agreed they would.

“We have listened to what our members have told us, followed ukactive’s guidelines, and put in place measures to make our clubs as safe as possible for members and staff.

“There’s clearly an appetite for health clubs to reopen and I hope that we can welcome members back in the very near future.”

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, added: “Reopening our facilities requires a collective responsibility from operators and customers, and we know our members will be proud to use the Fit Together message as the sector unites in its tireless work to keep the nation moving.

“We know that people have missed being active together in our facilities, and this campaign shows that customer and staff safety will be our number one priority when they return."

The campaign has also received the full support of grassroots body Sport England.

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England CEO, said: “Given the fact that physical activity was at record levels before the coronavirus pandemic, it has been reassuring to see that, during lockdown, new habits have formed and that keeping physically active has been a priority for many as a way to help maintain their health and mental wellbeing.

“However, the more opportunity there is for people to get out and be active the better. Part of that is the safe reopening of grassroots sport, gyms and leisure facilities.

“We will therefore continue working with ukactive and many other partners, and make sure representative bodies, clubs, their employees and volunteers, have the tools they need to welcome back their members when it is safe to do so.”

Fit Together forms part of ukactive’s four-stage strategy to support the reopening of the physical activity sector, which also includes: research on business modelling; the recommended framework for operators; and policy support.

• To find out more – and to access the Fit Together toolkit – click here

David Lloyd is trialling its social distancing protocols, ready for reopening / David Lloyd Leisure
fitness operators  gyms  leisure facilities  Fit Together  Duncan Bannatyne  ukactive  Huw Edwards  Tim Hollingsworth 
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