With their professional athletes’ primary training being lifting weights, the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) is hoping that the workout gyms can be opened so that those athletes can use them to resume their training this week.
This appeal came after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis made provisions for professional athletes to resume their training, beginning yesterday. The announcement was made this past Sunday in a national address.
The Bahamas is in phase 1B of the government’s plan for reopening the economy, which does not include the opening of gyms. The reopening of gyms is set for phase four of that plan.
Stephen Robinson, general secretary and press officer of the BBFF, said he hopes that gyms are allowed to be opened.
“We have at least 12 professional bodybuilders and fitness athletes. Our training venue is a gym. Right now, the gyms are not allowed to be opened under this particular phase. That has set back some of our pro athletes. Are our athletes going to be allowed to go into the gym and will the managers and owners of these gyms going to be allowed to open for our elite and professional athletes so they can continue to train?”
Robinson added: “There needs to be some clarity or some leeway given for the bodybuilders, but of course other disciplines like swimming and whoever else. My federation has been getting a lot of calls in regards to what will be done for us, or are we going to sit out until the gyms are actually opened, or are they going to allow the gyms to open for our athletes to continue their training.”
If gyms and pools are opened, Director of Sports at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Timothy Munnings said his ministry wants to make sure everyone is protected.
“For access to gyms and the pools, we want to make sure these organizations have some type of safety and health protocols in place to ensure that everyone is protected,” Munnings said.
Around this time of the year, professional bodybuilders are set to be getting ready for international competition. Up to press time yesterday, Robinson said the BBFF has not gotten any information regarding when its athletes can resume training.
“The federation and I understand what the government is doing for the country in safeguarding the community in regard to this COVID-19. We take all of that seriously, but our athletes still do not want to be at a disadvantage when it comes to them traveling and competing because of the setback,” Robinson said.
He added that he hopes the playing field is leveled among the federations and associations that have professional athletes.
“At the end of the day, the majority of the gyms right now can take at least 10 or more persons at a time and they will still be more than six feet apart. [I] think what needs to happen is they need to reach out to gym owners and managers and ask them what kind of social distancing they have in place for when they do open, or if they allow them to have our athletes return to the gym to train,” Robinson said.
He also suggested that a scheduling system be used for athletes to adhere to the healthcare measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.