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Dozens of fitness fanatics have voluntarily vowed to continue paying their monthly fees at a Dumbarton gym to help keep the business alive during the coronavirus crisis.

Energie Fitness – which is a family-run independent franchise – was forced to close its doors on Friday after the government announced a lockdown on all gyms and leisure facilities.

This was a major blow to management at the High Street gym because they have worked tirelessly to build their business since opening just over a year ago.

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They vowed to stick by their members by offering a freeze on fees for the duration of the shutdown, but also made a special request that customers choose to continue paying their direct debits to help pay staff and keep the business alive.

A message was posted on the gym’s Facebook page on Saturday and an email was circulated to all members.

It reads: “Following guidance from central government and Public Health England in relation to Covid-19, our club will be temporarily closed until further notice.

“At this stage we don’t know how long we’ll be closed. We’ll only re-open again when it’s safe to do so.

“We respect that in this situation you will not have access to our club and for this reason you are able to freeze your membership free of charge for the period of closure. There is no need to cancel your membership.

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“Before you take this action, however, we want to offer you another option. Our business relies on your support as members and during this unprecedented crisis we are going to be under real pressure to sustain our livelihoods and those of our staff.

“It is for this reason that we are appealing to you to choose not to freeze or cancel your membership. We really want to ensure that when this is all over, we/you still have a gym to come back to.”

Management then requested that people who can afford it continue paying their currently monthly fees, with the promise of being entered into a prize draw, a free personal trainer session, and two free drinks from the juice bar for their loyalty.

The statement added: “We know is a lot to ask, but if you can and you are willing to continue to commit to your fees as normal then we will give you a lot more on top both on your return and in the future.”

Members quickly responded positively online, with almost 60 people promising to continue voluntarily paying their gym membership fees, which range between £20 and £28 per month.

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Even more people have been emailing gym management promising to continue paying.

On Facebook, David McGroarty wrote: “Happy to keep my membership running and hope you’re back open soon. Good luck to all the staff during this difficult time.”

Laura Graham asked if customers continued paying would Energie Fitness ensure their staff were paid. When management said yes, she replied: “It’s a yes then.”

Laura Mountain-Bamling commented: “I would have to pay the fee as normal if I only went once in a month and wouldn’t grumble, so not gonna worry.

“More important support you staying open when all this blows over.”

The other gyms in the area are at the Meadow Centre and Marinecraft Gym in Dumbarton, and Vale of Leven Swimming Pool, which are all council facilities, while Gym One in Vale of Leven Industrial Estate is privately run.

The Gym One team have also welcomed some members offering to continue pay direct debits, and posted a message on their Facebook page on Saturday, saying: “We as a business at this moment in time do not want to make any profit, our only goal is for the gym to remain place for when we re-open.

“We have always cared about our members, so if there’s anything we can do to support or help people please don’t hesitate to message.

“We understand the gym is a good escape for people, we will keep communicating with everyone as much as possible with regular updates.”

By Lennox Herald

Source: Daily Record

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