Looking for Exmoor Gym? Go to Dulverton Church.
|Author: Clara Lawrie||Published: 3rd May 2012 11:23|
There was dancing in the aisles, push-ups on the pews and muscle toning by the font as Dulverton's fitness sessions relocated to All Saints Church.
Following a desperate bid by the Save Exmoor Gym group to stop 1610 - the company which manages the Exmoor gym in Dulverton, supporters of the group were hoping to hear a statement from 1610 executives to say that they had ‘come to their senses' and would not close the facility on Monday (May 1). However, not only was there no statement by Tuesday morning, but 1610 sent three enforcers to Dulverton to seize the property's keys from gym trainer, Trisha Brown and escort her off the premises. They then proceeded to change the locks of the building - which they do not own.
1610 steadfastly refused to give in to demands to keep the gym going and went ahead with their closure plans. In a statement on their website they said: "The ‘Save the Gym' campaign is premature as the message 1610 has consistently given out is that this is a review with a re-launch in September."
In the meantime the people of Dulverton and surrounding areas on Exmoor were looking at five months without a fully equipped gym. But desperate times call for desperate measures and the first of what is thought to be the only pop-up gym of its kind took place inside the church with the full blessing of the vicar, the Rev Prebendary John Thorogood (picture left), the churchwardens and the Parochial Parish Council.
"We think this may be the very first pop-up gym in an active church in the country," said Sarah Blackburn, chair of the Save Exmoor Gym group. "Most importantly it will continue to offer the support and friendship that is so key to our gym."
Trisha Brown said: "We have a lot of vulnerable members and sadly the pop-up gym won't meet all their needs." She cited the example of one elderly member. "Frank has barely any sight and he just wants to run on the treadmill. He can't do that in church. Several others are in rehab following surgery and need the specialist equipment of the gym."
Circuit style classes will run five times a week, using simple equipment that locals have pulled out of garages and cupboards. It will be a typical case of British ‘make do and mend'.
Meanwhile the gym lies empty.
For more information contact Trisha Brown: Email: P.email@example.com
Exmoor Community Challenges Leisure Company to Keep Gym Open