Martial arts gym pair looking forward to to reopening after refurb

A martial arts gym in Cannock is preparing to officially reopen and welcome back both old and new members after spending more than £15,000 on a refurbishment project.

Ready to open the Gordo Jiu Jitsu Cannock gym's new unit are Ash Fletcher, left, and Trev Foster
Ready to open the Gordo Jiu Jitsu Cannock gym's new unit are Ash Fletcher, left, and Trev Foster

Although Covid-19 has meant on-off closures of the Gordo Jiu Jitsu Cannock gymnasium, owners Trev Foster and Ash Fletcher are now hoping to get back to what they do best and train people in mixed martial arts and help members de-stress.

Trev, aged 50, from Bishops Wood, in South Staffordshire, said: "Although Covid has made things difficult we have not stood still and have spent £15,000 on refitting our new unit.

"We are very lucky to have had a small core membership of about 20 people who have supported us through the lockdown to help keep us above water.

"We started the gym in 2015 on an industrial estate and have now moved into the new unit we occupy.

"We officially reopen on Tuesday, July 20, and now have male and female changing rooms, professionally-installed air conditioning, competition-standard matting and a take-down wall."

Trev added: "The refurbishment has been carried out with the help of Government grants and I do not think they could have done more to help small businesses survive.

"The gym offers mixed martial arts, Jiu Jitsu and No Gi and we are hoping to attract new members.

"A beginner's class will be starting on Wednesday which we have advertised through social media and already 12 people have said they would like to try the sport."

Trev said: "This sport relies on contact and although we could have opened back in March that would only have been for solo drills.

"Jiu Jitsu is a contact sport and people are in close contact so we had to wait until restrictions were lifted.

"We will be making sure that there is hand sanitiser available and will also want to know who has been vaccinated.

"Because of the age of many of our members, most have been double vaccinated.

"We will also be taking people's temperatures with a thermometer we can point at their heads on entering the building.

"Our mats will also be disinfected, cleaned and wiped down after each session to ensure we can offer members reassurance about Covid safety."

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