A BROMSROVE leisure centre manager who has amassed a 450-strong online fitness community during the pandemic is looking forward to meeting some of them face-to-face.
Michelle Jones will be welcoming people to new outdoor sessions as part of the Ryland Centre’s partial reopening in line with the Government’s easing of Coronavirus restrictions on Monday, March 29.
The Covid-safe sessions will begin with outdoor sports such as football and athletics, which are permitted for formally organised groups of adults and under-18s, but without spectators.
Outdoor fitness sessions and running track sessions will also be available from Monday on a pay-as-you-go basis only, but will require pre-booking and payment via Ryland’s online shop. They cost £5 each.
Michelle said: “It’s such a relief to be opening again, for both my staff and I, but also the good people of Bromsgrove – who also see it as a new lease of life I feel.
“We’ve been keeping them active and motivated since November with our various online classes and it’s been a real success for all concerned in terms of physical and mental wellbeing, but sometimes you can’t beat the real thing.
“I used the downtime to explore online options via Facebook Live and Zoom and quickly bought into it as demand took off.
“A small team of instructors, including myself, started developing engaging videos and very quickly we had a rapidly growing following for our daily Yoga, Pilates, Fat Burn and Gym-style classes, HIIT workouts, plus Strength and Conditioning sessions.
“It got so popular we made the digital programme part of the membership at the start of the year when we briefly opened again (during Tier 3 status), as some people actually prefer the online option because of work, family and health reasons and we do appreciate that not all will rush back.
“We’ve also developed some bootcamp-style sessions as they’ve proved very popular before, but as indoor activities are allowed again we’ll be introducing some exciting but different alternatives to the online and outdoor programmes, so watch this space for details.”
Phase 2 of the Government’s leisure reintegration begins from April 12 and the indoor gym at Ryland Centre will re-open for use, individually or within household groups. Online booking will also be required for these sessions and Covid-secure measures will again be in place.