England Boxing CEO urges Liverpool region to keep gyms open

October 13, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing Chief Executive Officer Gethin Jenkins has today written to Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham urging the region not to close gyms and leisure facilities from tomorrow (14th October).

It comes after the region was yesterday (12th October) placed into tier three of the government’s local Coronavirus lockdown system, with the implication that gyms (including boxing clubs) would be among the raft of venues forced to close.

While supportive of the need for greater restrictions in England to halt the increasing levels of community Coronavirus transmissions, Jenkins wrote in his letter that he believes the closure of gyms and other leisured facilities in the Liverpool region “will not only significantly  harm the individual boxers’ physical and mental health, but also impact the clubs financially”, which are frequently in areas of high deprivation and have the least amount of resource.

He points to data collected by UK Active that shows that from 22 million leisure visits nationwide, there have only been 78 Coronavirus cases, and that across 1,500 leisure facilities there have been only 0.34 cases per 100,000 visits.

Jenkins also writes that the UK government website explains that in regions such as Liverpool where the risk is classed as ‘very high’, “exercise classes and organised sport… will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with other people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport”.

He said it was England Boxing’s belief that having instructed clubs with specific guidelines on how to make their clubs COVID-safe, they already fulfil the criteria of “avoiding mixing with people they do not live with”.

“The majority of our boxers fall into the ‘youth sport’ category, so we believe the clubs should be allowed to continue.”

“As you move to the Level 3, we would urge you not to include leisure facilities and boxing clubs on this list, as we believe the positives sport participation provides in supporting physical and mental health in COVID-secure environments far outweigh the specific risks.”

To see England Boxing’s guidelines around club’s opening during the Coronavirus Pandemic, click here.