The athletes of Trois-Rivières make the most of every minute. Tuesday evening, studios and training rooms in the region will have to close their doors for a second time since the start of the pandemic.
“I find it sad and unfortunate for all those who take their health to heart. Especially here, when everything is disinfected and well cleaned between each person, ”said a member of the Center Athlétique Trois-Rivières crossed by TVA Nouvelles.
“I don’t understand then that sport is synonymous with health. Then with the pandemic, it seems to me that the training rooms should come before the SAQ and other businesses, ”said another athlete.
In total, 66 employees of the three branches of the Center Athlétique Trois-Rivières are unemployed.
“In the last week, I went through all the emotions. Disappointment, anger and incomprehension. We do not understand, when we have put in place all the measures to finally return to square one, ”lamented the owner of the branches, Laurie Bellerive.
Managers anticipate the next few weeks
Quebec promises financial aid, some in the form of loans, others in the form of grants. For entrepreneurs, it becomes difficult to navigate.
“I’ve been refused a grant three times. They say contract workers are not essential expenses. So, people are telling me that in a yoga center, teachers are not essential. So, with each refusal, we change the formula, we send the document back and it takes a lot of energy. It is not true that by snapping your fingers, you get the grants, ”said Solia Yoga owner Elizabeth Fugère.
The entrepreneur estimates that she has lost 75% of her income since this spring. She anticipates the next few weeks since, for the moment, only passion allows her to maintain her business.
“We are turning to offers on digital platforms. We have created a “Self-Care 28 days” package which gives access to all online courses on Mindbody for 28 days. A teacher will also launch different challenges each day on an ebook. We don’t have the choice to innovate, but I must admit that it is not profitable, not everyone is turning to this new formula. Many tell us that they are eager to support us when this is all over; it’s great, but honestly, this is when we need people, to be able to come back, ”testified the entrepreneur.
Measurements visible at UQTR
The more restrictive measures are clearly visible at the Center for Physical and Sports Activity (CAPS) at the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières. In fact, management did not wait for the maximum time to apply them. As soon as the City switched to the red zone, the training room and the use of the changing rooms, with the exception of the toilets, were closed. Then, the holding of group lessons was suspended.
Free activities, such as badminton and pickleball, as well as access to the indoor running track and stationary bikes, are maintained. However, only singles games are allowed.
For the moment, individual or duo activities are authorized in accordance with health instructions. Otherwise, while waiting for the green light from the authorities, the owners of private rooms are turning to digital platforms to continue their mission, which is to get people moving, but also to ensure a minimum of income.