UMMA (United Mixed Martial Arts) organisation which is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation based in Glasgow and we have developed a proposal to send to the Scottish Government detailing a solution to help allow full contact training in gyms as soon as possible.
Our proposal aims to allow for the opening of MMA and other similar gyms which require full contact training . This proposal will allow for a reasoned and prudent approach to allow MMA and similar gyms to open for training as soon as possible. Our proposal will provide guidance to participating gyms across Scotland on how to open and provide their services as part of a recognised ‘best practice’ approach to assist the participants and their gyms. A secondary aim of the proposal will be to provide assistance to the Scottish Government in its Staged programme of relaxing restrictions put in place in response to the Coronavirus situation. This assistance will be used to provide data of the controls, assurance and any lockdown/isolation requirements based on the close contact training undertaken in these gyms.
After talking to UMMA MSP Bob Doris has written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the reopening of gyms and fitness clubs.
Dear First Minister,
Reopening of gyms and fitness clubs
I have been contacted by several gyms and fitness clubs in my constituency as well as constituents who use them and work in them. They are concerned and disappointed that their premises are likely to remain closed until at
least September. Time and again, my constituents are raising the question of why gyms cannot reopen but pubs, bars and restaurants can, many with one meter zones, in an environment where alcohol consumption makes many people less likely to adhere to social distancing rules.
I wholly appreciate that your decisions are based upon medical and scientific advice and evidence. I would therefore ask you to share as much of that advice and evidence as you can so that I can pass it on to my constituents and help them understand the situation better. Whilst all of my constituents understand that tough decisions have to be made in tackling the pandemic, many feel that the hard work they are doing to make their premises as safe as possible is not being considered. I note that some bars and restaurants are able to apply mitigation measures which allow them to operate with one-metre distancing, while most will continue on two
metres. This system rightly acknowledges that different premises present different risks and face different operating environments.
Gyms and fitness clubs are asking for a similar acknowledgement: gyms and fitness clubs vary in size and in the services they offer, and present differing levels of risk. For example, I have heard from a local mixed martial arts gym which has rebuilt their entire changing rooms, altered ventilation, planned for stringent Track and Trace measures and the ability to step up and step down their measures in line with risk. Other establishments are taking similar steps and all are keen that their hard work and the carefully considered adaptations they are making should be taken into account when decisions are made. In other words, they feel like a blanket closure is not needed when several gyms and fitness venues would be able to safely reopen. Constituents have also raised concerns around the loss of the positive effects on mental and physical wellbeing that regular gym-based exercise can have for many people.
Finally, various individuals, gym owners, personal trainers working in gyms and others are very concerned about the lack of financial support for the sector. I appreciate the constraints on the Scottish Government, particularly
around borrowing powers, however I would respectfully ask you to review the available to this sector and its staff to ensure that everything possible is being done to help them.
As ever, I hope that you and those around you are staying safe and well.
Bob Doris MSP for Maryhill and Springburn (SNP)