WHILE most fitness enthusiasts have welcomed the move by the Sports and Recreation Commission to extend operating hours for gyms as well as recreational facilities around the country, a red flag has been raised on the inability to use the changing rooms and showers at the gym centres.
The new approved times are 6.30am to 6pm with immediate effect.
Body Works Gym as well as Pro-Active Gym are the two fitness facilities in Bulawayo that were allowed to resume operations after they were inspected by officials from the SRC.
“There are people who want to train before they go to work and my issue is still with not being able to use changing rooms and showers,” wrote one Bulawayo-based fitness devotee on micro blogging and social networking Twitter.
Reacting to the tweet, Body Works Gym said: “We know how much of an inconvenience it is for our clients not being able to use the changing rooms and showers. We hope the issue will be sorted out in the coming months so we can have most of our members back in the gym.”
Gyms have been following the normal operating times for all other businesses during the country’s lockdown since they were given permission to reopen in June. The times were not flexible for those who wanted to train before going to work and those who prefer working out after knocking off.
In a statement on Tuesday, the SRC said the new times came as a result of recommendations they made to the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation on behalf of the sporting and recreational sector.
“The Sports and Recreation Commissioner (SRC) hereby gives notice of the decision by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation (Minister or Ministry), to grant authority for the adjustment of operating times for registered sport and recreational facilities (clubs and gyms). The approval is pursuant to the recommendations made by the SRC on behalf of the sport and recreation sector to the Minister. The new approved times are as follows: 06:30-18:00 effective immediately,’’ read part of the SRC statement which was silent on the use of changing rooms and bath rooms.
A manager at one of the gyms in Bulawayo confirmed that the changing rooms and showers were still out of bounds, something that is still deterring some of those who want to stay in shape.