COVID-19 new normal: How Peel gyms handled shutdowns

Pits and peaks: Many Peel gym owners reopened their doors on Monday but some won't be able to open until restrictions ease further. Photo: Pretty Brave Fitness.
Pits and peaks: Many Peel gym owners reopened their doors on Monday but some won't be able to open until restrictions ease further. Photo: Pretty Brave Fitness.

Yoga mats set 1.5 metres apart, no shared equipment and smaller classes are the new norm as gyms reopen this week.

While some Peel gyms thrived teaching behind a screen and were able to reopen their doors on Monday, others are still struggling as COVID-19 continues to take a toll.

Despite coronavirus causing the closure of Pretty Brave Fitness, owner Caity Dungey said her business profited in many ways during lockdown.

"I was able to keep the business alive and even make some exciting improvements to the gym," she said.

"I'm lucky to have a very supportive community of girls who stuck by Pretty Brave Fitness throughout the closure and was even lucky enough to welcome new faces in this time as well.

"I feel Pretty Brave Fitness has really made the most of a weird situation and we're definitely coming out the other end stronger."

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Miss Dungey's gym reopened on Monday after several weeks of teaching online classes, personal training and outdoor group workouts.

"We are reducing the class size to eight to ensure each person has more than the required amount of space," she said.

"I'm super grateful that we get to operate at all so we will follow the regulations of minimal shared equipment as well until we are able to operate as we did before."

I feel Pretty Brave Fitness has really made the most of a weird situation and we're definitely coming out the other end stronger.

Pretty Brave Fitness owner Caity Dungey

Like many other businesses during COVID-19 restrictions, Mandurah Movement Therapy owner Sharon Michau struggled financially despite moving to online classes.

"I didn't charge my members for the online videos during isolation," she said.

"This meant I couldn't generate much income but it was at least a good way to keep them going."

After several weeks of making close to zero profit on her online videos Mrs Michau reopened her doors on Monday.

Kangatraining Mandurah owner Naomi Mitchell continues to do her classes over a virtual conferencing platform so local mums can stay connected. Photo: Supplied.

Kangatraining Mandurah owner Naomi Mitchell continues to do her classes over a virtual conferencing platform so local mums can stay connected. Photo: Supplied.

A sentiment of financial strain was echoed by Kangatraining Mandurah owner Naomi Mitchell as her business was new when COVID-19 restrictions began.

"Unfortunately because I had only just started my business in the first term I hadn't built up enough clientele to keep it profitable," she said.

"I kept my classes going online for my current mums and myself to keep the community alive and give us something to look forward during isolation."

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Despite many Peel gyms reopening this week others are waiting until further easing of restrictions to return to business as usual.

Mrs Mitchell is one of these gym owners as she said the new COVID-19 guidelines would still impede on her business.

"The 20-person limit will greatly impact my business as my classes incorporate mums with their babies," she said.

"I will only be able to have four to five mums attend as the numbers include their babies and mothers often bring multiple children which will further reduce the numbers again.

"I am working on opening up face to face classes in the second week of June, which I will be running outside to minimise cost and reduce cleaning."

If you run a local gym and are open, use the form below to let us know you are still operating, and how we can continue to support you.

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