Gyms join to offer online sessions

MOUNT FOREST – With Ontario moving back to a modified version of step two of the Roadmap to Reopen, a local martial arts trainer is joining forces with owners of other gyms and fitness businesses around the province to offer an online alternative.

On Jan. 3, the provincial government announced that indoor sports facilities, including gyms, would be required to close as part of a series of measures aimed at slowing the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Dave Reeves of Mount Forest-based Rise Combat and Fitness says about eight gyms in locations including Owen Sound, Guelph and Markham have signed on to an initiative which will involve online classes taught by instructors from the various operations.

“We’re all just trying to find a way to give our clients some activity for the next three weeks,” said Reeves.

He noted this latest round of shutdowns is causing a lot of frustration in a sector, which only re-opened to full capacity in October, after being allowed to run at 50 per cent capacity since mid-July.

“I had one parent call me today in tears because their son locked himself in his room,” after hearing his kickboxing lessons were on hold once again, said Reeves.

Reeves noted classes offered through the online sessions will range from traditional martial arts and fitness training to unique offerings such as a lightsaber combat program Reeves himself developed.

“We’re doing it based on membership right now, but we’re ready to expand it to anybody who contacts us,” said Reeves.

Classes are set to begin next week. For more information check out Rise Combat and Fitness social media accounts or call 519-509-5425.