Gyms reopen as lockdown restrictions ease

ACROSS the area gyms have reopened – to the relief of fitness fanatics everywhere.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:23 pm
Paul Massey takes the temperature of member Hayley Jennings, from Fareham, as she enters his martial arts studio Fierce Muay Thai in West Street, Fareham. Picture: Kimberley Barber

In Fareham, it's a nerve-wracking time for owner of martial arts studio Fierce Muay Thai in West Street.

The centre opened last December, after months of planning but also just before the third lockdown happened.

Owner Paul Massey said: ‘I didn’t sleep at all last night with the worry of opening up today. It’s following all the rules that worries me most. I am nervous. We have put in lots of measures but it’s making sure that we stick to it, and that people can see that we are allowed to be open - and safe to be open too.’

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Personal trainer Luke Ralls at Marina Fitness in Gosport Picture: David George

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Hayley Jennings, from Fareham, was eager to get back to her martial arts training. She said: ‘I’ve been training with Paul for 20 years. It’s exciting to get back to it, and to get back to a bit of normality.’

At Marina Fitness in Weevil Lane, Gosport, personal trainer Luke Ralls has been itching to get back into the gym.

He said: 'I've been on furlough for more than a year now and it's been tough.

Paul Massey, from Fierce Muay Thai, in West Street Picture: Kimberley Barber

'Yes, there are things you can do at home to stay fit and healthy, but the atmosphere of being in a gym is irreplaceable.

'In the morning it was really busy - people have been really looking forward to being back in the gym and showed just how committed they are.

'It's great to see people and catch up with members, because we haven't seen them for months on end.'

The gym also has a new manager, called Karen Green, with April 12 marking her first day in the job.

Hayley Jennings, from Fareham, was eager to get back to her martial arts training Picture: Kimberley Barber

She said: 'I've got plenty to learn but I really do love it here.

'It has been so lovely to have face-to-face conversations with people, and so many of them are glad to have the gym back - it's clear that this means a lot to them.'

Personal trainer Luke Ralls at Marina Fitness in Gosport Picture: David George
Luke Ralls at Marina Fitness in Gosport and new manager Karen Green - on her first day Picture: David George