Sports centers, drowned by limitations, demand to be “essential” due to their range of “natural vaccine”

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Fran Oliva. “Training frees hospitals” , “we are not the problem, we are the solution” , “we are an essential service” or “sport equals health” .

These were the slogans that they saw last Saturday in the concentration of sports centers in the Plaza de La Constitución in Huelva capital . In this, they raised their voices in order to obtain the consideration of “essential service” to be able to extend their opening hours. “It seems to us an injustice because they have us put into leisure and we are and we know that we are essential, more health than leisure”, is the main complaint of the representatives of the sector. 

HOURLY RESTRICTIONS

With the measures decreed by the Junta de Andalucía since November 10, sports centers fall into the category of “non-essential” . Thus, they have to close at 18:00 in the afternoon , causing them great economic damage. In a city like Huelva, most users of sports centers tend to go in the afternoon. This is how Manuel Macías, manager of Quality Fitness , tells us , detailing that “in my case, about 75-80% of the users came after six in the afternoon and that is when they have to close. They come in the afternoon because they work and do sports after work in their free time, when they can enjoy training ”.

Macias points out that he sees ignorance in politicians because “if they keep these businesses until six o’clock , when the users will be almost the same, there will be more crowds because they cannot be distributed in more hours since more clients open in hours than before I didn’t have that many. Now many clients come in a few hours and we even have to cut the capacity so that the centers maintain a safe distance when training. It is a problem for everyone ”.

A paradox ratified by Concepción Pérez, co-owner of the Cimax-Climbing Climbing Wall . “It hurts you financially but it has also meant that at certain times, when no one went before, a large number of people are showing up. Before, clients were temporarily distributed and now they are concentrating. There is more capacity and we are controlling with security measures but it does not matter much because there is more concentration of people ”.

Jose Manuel Liáñez, manager of Golfitness , is one of the promoters of the demonstration last Saturday. He acknowledges that the time restrictions do not affect him because “ for 11 years, I have been doing my training outdoors and more now. My center is in the Colombino, a hundred meters from the Paseo de la Ría. Above I have in front of the center a small square with a lot of space. Anyone who comes from a center between four walls and has mistrust, can come with me. I am open from 07:00 to 22:00, as always ”.

Although he speaks “on behalf of the union” and “empathizes with his colleagues for their situation of having their facilities within four walls,” he clarifies that “I ask many of them to strengthen creativity and go outdoors.” Liáñez comments that “in my case, we don’t use shared materials either and each one has their own material. Each one is with his mask even though he can take it off because he is far away. I do not allow it. I have doubled security above the law. There I think is the key that an athlete can continue doing sports, training quietly. When extreme precautions are taken, the athlete is calm and it is very likely that he will not leave ”.

Although the case of Golfitness is very particular. This is what Raúl Marchena, Fitness Manager at O2 Centro Wellness , says, revealing that “when this restriction and schedule is planned, we read the users we have and the entry and exit times. 70-75% of users entered after five in the afternoon . That makes the first reading of these restrictions catastrophic . “

He continues stating that “users are being dropped, but not as much as we think. With the schedule that we have proposed, we have tried to reach all the people and on top of that there are others who are waiting to see how the situation evolves. It is clear that if it is prolonged, it will hurt a lot. There are many people who cannot go to the gym before six because of their jobs, schedules, daily routines. This greatly affects all centers due to the client profile because in Huelva, most clients go to gyms in the afternoon ” .

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