Posted: Fri 21st Aug 2020

Local Thai Boxing instructors relieved for reopening of gyms, praising members for their support since closing

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Aug 21st, 2020

A North Wales Thai Boxing Instructor has spoken about the joy of being able to continue his series of fitness classes following the Welsh Government’s decision to reopen gyms.

Mike Thomas, who teaches classes at Toe2Toe Fitness in Holywell, was relieved to hear the news on 31 July that indoor fitness studios, gyms and leisure centres were to be reopened on 10 August following the easing of lockdown.

He said: “One of the biggest things people have missed is the camaraderie of the gym and the social interaction. For this reason, I think it is correct for the gyms to open especially as the Welsh Government has made it clear that if necessary they will close gyms down very quickly.

“We have put numerous safety measures in place but if someone was still not wanting to train we would never dream of putting pressure on them or persuade them to change.”

Outdoor gyms have been able to reopen since 20 July, but that has not allowed Mike to set up with the necessary equipment needed to teach his students safely and reliably.

He said: “We are starting classes on the 18 and 20 of August and we will be following all the guidelines.

“It will be difficult with no sparring or padwork, but we have numerous bags and various pieces of equipment we can adapt for exercises which will be beneficial to Muay Thai.”

Other gyms in the area have been able to teach students outdoors via 1-2-1s and reduced sessions whilst retaining no contact between instructor and student.

Wrexham Thai Boxing Club, who usually train at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, have started offering these sessions to the public.

James Ruler, an instructor at Wrexham Thai Boxing Club, said: “The club and Thai Boxing have been a vital tool in helping people’s mental and physical wellbeing and we would like to continue to offer this help.

“Our door has and always will be open to anyone who would like to pursue martial arts, with a warm welcoming environment but also friendly and understanding trainees and instructors.”

He also says that the Coronavirus pandemic has affected the club “badly” and “made it challenging to continue” but that they have been able to “adapt, improvise and overcome this temporarily difficult situation.”

Both Mike and James reflected on the past few months during the lockdown, stating how they and the community have reacted to the ongoing updates surrounding sport in Wales.

Mike said: “Here at Toe2Toe we closed as soon as we had to and, like most people, were surprised how long the pandemic has lasted.

“It has had a big effect throughout the community because we also had very busy fitness classes as well. In the early days a lot of the students kept busy with running and bag work in their own home.

“I suggested some training targets for some of our students and this was well received.”

James said: “It has been tough, but everyone within Wrexham Thai Boxing has come together, kept in touch and helped each other. Members are always offering encouragement to others.

“All our lessons have changed and adapted, with some members of Wrexham Thai Boxing Club having utilised our isolated facilities during this pandemic.

“We are truly grateful for our loyal members.”

By Jordan Adams

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