Small business in Victoria is fighting a losing battle, not against the pandemic, but against a government that continues to make judgement calls that simply do not make sense.
Fitness businesses have a steadfast commitment to the health of Victorians, yet we are prevented from providing that service because we pose a health risk…? Yes, it simply does not make sense. Around Australia fitness businesses have been back up and running from June last year, following guidelines, and providing much needed physical and mental health support for their members. Here in Victoria we were not allowed to open until November 2020, were locked out again in February, and are still prevented from opening in Lockdown 4.0. This is despite having 6.4 million check-ins across the state with zero transmissions.
Fitness Australia and industry members are not asking for special treatment or hand-outs, we are simply asking for a level playing field that provides us with the ability to trade and promote positive health messages and support in our communities.
It is at that community level where our magic happens. Fitness businesses provide more than exercise equipment and upbeat trainers. We provide the very essential human connection for people wanting to improve their health in a safe and protected environment.
Our doors are always open to newcomers who want the guidance to embark on their exercise journey safely. Well, at the moment, we can only wish they were! The services provided by the fitness industry are diverse and there is quite literally something for everyone.
In Australia we are seeing alarmingly low levels of regular exercise in our adult and teenage populations. It is time the fitness industry is given the recognition that is warranted to reverse this declining public health trend. One of the greatest benefits of regular exercise is promoting good health, both physically and mentally. It really is about time that we started to focus on prevention, rather than reacting to problems once they arise.
At a time when the world balance has shifted due to Covid it has never been more important for people to understand just how essential it is to be healthy. Fitness is a key part of the solution, certainly not the problem.