A small but loyal contingent of fitness fans were back in the gym at the stroke of midnight in Northampton today
Leisure centre reopens at stroke of midnight as gyms welcome customers back from lockdown
A Northampton leisure centre welcomed back some of its most eager customers today - when it reopened at the stroke of midnight.
Trilogy Leisure was ready to open its doors the second restrictions were lifted by holding a midnight relaunch.
The small but dedicated group of fitness fans who were first through the door at the Danes Camp centre early this morning helped kick off a return to form for all of Northampton's gyms who were able to welcome back clients today (April 12).
Trilogy's managing director John Fletcher said of the first day back: "It's all been positive. I've been around all of Trilogy's sites today and there's a real buzz. We had customers waiting outside centres since before 6.30am.
"I think people have missed the social aspect and having that community you're part of. Walking and running in lockdown is good but it can be in total isolation."
The Government's 'roadmap' out of lockdown allowed gyms and wellness centres to reopen today, but a restriction is still in place on adult fitness classes.
At Northampton's Soo Yoga, owner Kristina Rihanoff said this just meant wellness centres have to welcome back customers as best they could.
She said: "It's been a really strange day because we're not fully open in a way or hold our adult classes. But we had a really really lovely post-natal class and we were able to hold our kids' classes.
"It was so lovely to have people back again to do their own workouts. We're unable to have our indoor adult classes but that just means we're working on holding outdoor classes on Becket's Park soon."
The easing of restrictions is hopefully the end of a period of uncertain for independent gyms after months on the shelf.
In December, Faraj Elfakir of Better Bodies Gym in Freehold Street told the Chron he was concerned many gyms would not make it through the four month freeze. But today he was able to welcome client back.
He said: "We and our members are happy to be back. We're not back to full capacity yet but we're optimistic and we hope to see everyone in again soon."