Photo: She’s Fit! Metrotown Group Fitness Class, Burnaby, BC. (Courtesy Club16 Trevor LInden Fitness)
Fitness in British Columbia has been one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite this, the industry continues to show compassion and resilience. The Fitness Industry Canada (FIC) BC Coalition, a group of over 100 British Columbia fitness clubs, has worked side by side with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team to keep fitness open and safe through the pandemic.
As the New Year’s resolution season approaches, a time when the fitness industry typically gets a boost, Coalition leaders Carl Ulmer and Sara Hodson are asking for support back from BC Public Health. They have asked Dr. Henry and her team and BC community-level health authorities to align their upcoming public messages so the fitness industry can bounce back and support British Columbians’ mental, physical and social health.
Ulmer notes that “languishing,” one of the biggest themes of 2021, is an issue that he believes the fitness industry is clearly able to address.
Fitness clubs and Public Health need common messaging
“We see that the biggest threat to British Columbians’ mental and physical health is that feeling that you’re just okay, you’re getting by,” says Ulmer. “The fitness industry can play a huge part in helping people get active again and get back to that healthy mental state where they’re hitting benchmarks and thriving. Imagine a British Columbia where everyone is working together and rebounding from this pandemic. FIC fitness clubs are here to welcome British Columbians back into their facilities and to become better together.”
FIC President Sara Hodson, adds: “Although Dr. Henry has in the past shared the important message that high levels of transmissions are not occuring in fitness facilities, we believe the message is worth repeating: Gyms are safe, and we are ready to welcome you back to your fitness club. The FIC has made a strong commitment to support British Columbians by operationalizing and enforcing the vaccine card for BC Public Health. In fact, with the vaccine passport our gyms are now safer than ever. We need Dr. Henry and her team to acknowledge this and to encourage British Columbians to come back to fitness.”
Grants and fitness pros required
Ulmer and Hodson have also communicated with the BC Minister of Jobs, Ravi Kahlon, regarding economic recovery and innovation. They have requested grant money to support fitness facilities that continue to struggle financially, many due to the loss of subsidy support.
The FIC BC Coalition has been lobbying the government consistently on behalf of the industry, and it has had repeated successes. For example, during the third COVID-19 wave it was successful in having the Circuit Breaker Grant extended in March 2020.
As the fitness industry continues to rebound there are huge opportunities ahead, especially considering that more than half of the Canadian population is currently sedentary and inactive.
“We need trained fitness professionals now more than ever,” says Hodson. “It is up to us to change Canada’s inactivity crisis and to push the needle in the right direction.”
For more information or to connect with the FIC BC Coalition, contact Erin Phelan, FIC-BC Communications LEAD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for profit trade association that represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing more than 6,000 facilities with more than six-million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. FIC aims to work with both industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians.