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Group exercise set to return to leisure centres

Leisure centres in Ashfield are set to relaunch group exercise classes in what has been called “a huge boost” for the mental health of the community.

Lammas Leisure Centre, Hucknall Leisure Centre and Festival Hall Leisure Centre, run by Everyone Active in partnership with Ashfield District Council, reopened on Monday, April 12 after three months of closure due to the third lockdown.

And now group exercise has been given the green light to resume from Monday, May 17 in the penultimate stage of the Government’s four-step roadmap.

Lammas Leisure Centre will host instructor-led and virtual sessions and Hucknall Leisure Centre and Festival Hall Leisure Centre will run instructor-led sessions.

Prior to the reopening of gyms, customers were able to use Everyone Active’s comprehensive package of online workouts and livestreamed classes across its social media pages.

As restrictions have eased, many have been eager to return to group exercise in centres and Everyone Active’s strict operational measures mean they can do so in a Covid-safe environment.

Research commissioned by ukactive* showed that 58% of people had managed their mental health and wellbeing during lockdown through being active, while 63% said that taking part in sport and physical activity with others could help with feelings of loneliness.

Lorenzo Clark, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “We are delighted to be able to safely resume group exercise classes in our centres.

“Aside from the obvious physical benefits, this will be a huge boost for mental health and wellbeing in the area and comes at an apt time following the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

“Many of our customers thrive on the social element of exercise, not just for motivational reasons but also because they enjoy seeing friendly faces in a familiar environment.

“With social contact having been limited over the past year, the ability to mix safely with other members of the community will be appreciated by many.

“The importance of mental wellbeing is proving increasingly resonant with the public and customers can reintroduce group exercise to their fitness regime in the knowledge they are addressing the needs of body and mind.”

Attendances across the three Ashfield sites are on the rise, with visits in April 13% higher than in December, when centres reopened after the second lockdown.

Cllr Kier Barsby, Portfolio Holder for Health and Leisure at Ashfield District Council, said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many people getting back to our leisure centres since they reopened last month. This next step in bringing social classes back will be warmly welcomed by residents in all corners of Ashfield.

“With major investment coming to our existing leisure centres and a new state-of-the-art facility being built in Kirkby, the future is exciting for leisure provision in Ashfield.”

Everyone Active has committed to keeping its customers safe and active, ensuring it will meet and exceed Government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with the Everyone Active Pledge. Full detail on the operator’s pledge and safety measures can be found online.

The Government’s roadmap includes detail on which facilities can reopen within each step, meaning some may not be available in the first instance. For details about which facilities can reopen in each step and the latest guidance, visit the Everyone Active website.

Customers wishing to attend group exercise classes are required to book in advance via the Everyone Active website or mobile app.