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May 27, 2020

Open the Gyms!

Last Friday, Mark Neal, the owner of Body 2000 Gym, appeared in magistrate’s court along with four others to answer charges related to violations of the state of emergency regulations.  Today, he invited us to the fitness center here on Coney Drive where he has since retrofitted the facility to accommodate clients under the social distancing protocols.  Despite his efforts and those of other fitness clubs across the city, gyms remain closed until further notice.  That’s because exercise in these facilities have not been approved by the Attorney General and the relevant authorities.  Like others in the fitness business, Neal says he is taking a serious hit financially.


Mark Neal

Mark Neal, Owner, Body 2000 Gym

“The whole thing about Body 2000 is that Body 2000 has more than enough size, I would say, to meet the requirements that the government is asking for.  Basically, as you see we mark off everything seven feet apart, not even six.  Beside the treadmills and rowing machines we do all our markings and judgment to basically the requirements and what they ask for.  Spray, the hand sanitizing, the six feet apart, we have all of the signs and stuff like that.  So my issue with the government is why they don‘t open the gym?  Just last night I was watching the news with Mr. Manzanero, he said that basically Belizeans are prone to the virus due to the fact that they have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and they need to work out.  So if they need to work out then why is the gym not open?  And that’s my main issue with what’s going on right now. B.E.L. call, WASA calling, Digicell is calling.  All of them are calling and when they call and say well, Mr. Neal you need to pay this, I say well you need to go and ask the government.  How could I pay anything when I don’t have no way to make money or have no way to really sustain myself and balance out myself.  I have a lot of people that work here, you don’t only have the cleaners, you have the front desk people, you have also trainers who depend on coming in here and train.  These are personal trainers; they make their money also off of this, so you’re talking about a variety of people, not only my gym.  You have all the gyms that combine together trying to have government open the gyms.  Gyms should be priority, part of the whole focus because it’s a healthy thing.  You don’t find no sick people in the gym.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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