Coronavirus: Kilburn gym owner urges mayor of London to keep all gyms open if city goes into Tier 3 lockdown

Torban Cane, co-owner of Energie Fitness in Kilburn has written to the Mayor of London.

Torban Cane, co-owner of Energie Fitness in Kilburn has written to the Mayor of London. - Credit: Archant

A Kilburn gym owner has written to the mayor of London urging him to keep outlets open if there is a Tier Three lockdown.

Torban Cane, co-owner of Energie Fitness on Kilburn High Road, has written to Sadiq Khan saying he wants gyms to be considered an “essential service” as it promotes mental as well as physical health.

The 41-year-old cites Lancashire authorities who have chosen to keep gyms open despite going into Tier Three of the new coronavirus system of restrictions and hopes the mayor will take the same stance.

“We’re still alive but everyone’s had a tough time with many gyms forced to close,” he said.

“A lot of people cancelled their memberships and we’re trying to win them back now, it has been a tough ride but we’re trying to do the right thing.”

If London moves into a Tier Three lockdown, there is a real risk gyms and leisure centres will have to close.

Torban added: “We are passionate about fitness and the NHS says that exercise is a miracle cure, not only for physical health but also mental health.

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“With the population fighting Covid, if everyone is fit and healthy, as a population we stand a better chance.

“Now with winter coming and darker evenings, people aren’t going to want to go running in the park and gyms are a safe alternative.”

Dad Torban, whose wife is due to give birth to their second child soon, opened his franchise in December 2012.

He was forced to close on March 23 as the country went into lockdown, but he froze all the membership accounts and was able to furlough his 11 staff and even employ two more.

A bounce-back grant from the government has also helped as he has had to continue paying rent to his landlord.

“We’re open, we’re Covid secure and safe and doing everything we can do to maintain that. We have track and trace in place so know exactly who has been in and exactly what times,” Torban said. “We maintain cleanliness, have extra hand sanitisers, customers are able to social distance.

“The mayor has to keep gyms open for the health and wellbeing of Londoners. Gyms should be considered essential services like all food shops.

“We are very worried by what stance the mayor might take.”

The mayor’s office has been contacted.