I learnt the other day that the gym I attend, whilst being packed out every day, is struggling. There’s no money in it, and they very often break even. Money is tight and no-one is getting rich off the project.
How can that be? Well it works something like this. The gym is built on land owned by the nearby school, therefore the lease for the land is cheap. Perfect? Not quite. One of the conditions of the gym lease is that the school gets to use the gym for free. Ooooo-kay… but the business is a private one, it needs to make money to survive. Its not council funded – without paying customers the business would fold and close.
As I stated earlier, the gym is packed out most days, but no-one is paying. Its so busy that normally only towards the end of the evening can I get my camera out once all the kids have left. To say the gym owners have their hands tied behind their back is an understatement.
They literally need every penny they can get from the extra classes at the evenings and weekends to operate.
I found this unbelievable, and was a reality check to the face like a slap with a wet trout. Its all too easy to take things for granted and assume things will last forever and someone somewhere is raking it in, or covering all costs – but that is simply not the case. Its made me realise that the gym I love visiting really needs people like me and you to attend, and more than that, it needs me and you to try and bring new people to it.
With all the popularity of parkour and free running and backgarden trampolines in the spotlight, I think its easier than ever to mention to friends and workmates about what we are having a go at and show them a video clip or 2. Most people I know, that are reasonably fit, and don’t consider themself over-the-hill yet, their eyes seem to light up and say ‘I’d love to be able to do that’. Well thats your cue to invite them along.
The massive Government agenda to get people fit and healthy is forever rolling it seems, more and more people I meet are paying £30-£50+ a month to bore themselves senseless doing running or pushing weights, wishing the time to fly past as quick as possible so they can get back home and do something more interesting.
Have you ever tried being bored whilst bouncing on a trampoline?
I’m not saying going to a gymnastics centre is for everyone, but everyone at least deserves the chance to be offered a go at it. You never know they might just get into it.