Questions develop about province’s reopening plan for gyms and health centres

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WINNIPEG – Gyms and fitness centers may reopen next week after closing their doors almost three months ago.

However, it is unclear whether the proposed changes will apply to Manitoba sports academies that train young athletes.

“Think of gyms as training for adults and sports academies as training for children,” said the former Winnipeg Goldeyes player and head of baseball coach under 18 at Home Run Sports Training Center. “I think they need it more than anything,” he told CTV News on Saturday.

The province could allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen at 25 percent capacity and offer one-on-one calls in the next round of public health ordinances, which is expected to go into effect on Feb.13. Alberta takes a similar approach.

WATCH: https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/it-s-not-viable-alberta-gyms-say-opening-partially-won-t-save-them-financially-1.5289557

Ramon hopes that sports academies like fitness studios can also offer physically distant one-on-one sessions.

“We’re not asking for team practice, we’re asking for a slow step that we believe would be one-on-one indoors for all sports, not just baseball.”

Ramon said he understands that reopening is a delicate balance for the province, but playing sports and staying active is important for the mental health of children and adolescents.

“February is this tough month and it’s really tough for these kids,” said Ramon. “We feel it is time for these children to do a one-on-one activity.”

It doesn’t make sense for us to open up again

Some fitness facilities say they will likely remain closed, although they will be allowed to reopen on February 13th.

“It doesn’t make any sense for us to open,” Marc Amphavannasouk, co-owner or Winnipeg Yoga Studio Awesome Hot Yoga, told CTV News on Saturday.

On Friday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the provincial chief health officer, said group classes are likely to remain banned.

“(The relaxed restrictions) apply to gyms or fitness facilities that are tailored for individual fitness,” said Roussin. “We wouldn’t have group lessons at this point.”

Amphavannasouk said one-to-one tuition is unsustainable for companies like him that focus on group teaching.

“It costs a lot more for both the owner and the practitioner.”

Amphavannasouk hopes the province will reconsider and say that he would be able to hold classes in the studio safely.

“That’s almost 1,800 square meters. I don’t really understand why we can’t have 25 percent capacity in such a large room. “