Due to the epidemic, many sectors have been forced to close. Among them, some had to sacrifice more than others. We are talking about the world of sports ie Gyms and sports centers.
Actions taken first by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and then by Prime Minister Mario Draghi issued a decree to close gyms and sports centers, especially in the sector that has suffered irreparable damage.
In 2020, losses are around 8.5 billion, or nearly 70%. Even worse numbers are expected in 2021, putting many jobs at risk.
But someone is trying to resist, like Raphael Palumbo The owner is with the shareholder Mario Volpicelli From two gyms in Secondigliano and Casagiove.
The situation is very difficult. How do you deal with that?
We face it by protesting and demonstrating to get answers from the government. We are not desperate but we have clearly been abandoned. Our sector, in addition to bringing in 3% of the national GDP, has a huge segment of the population who practice it, about a third of Italians. So this lockdown is also causing people psychophysical harm. “
How were the reopening periods managed? Did people respond or was there a drop in subscribers?
“At the end of May 2020, there seemed to be a return to normal. However, it is a period of general decline, so if we talk about the number of people that is good but not in terms of turnover because to get to the costs the numbers have to be higher. However, it was There is initial enthusiasm, so in the first quarter of June, July, and August there was an answer. September was quite compatible with other years, so it was an important month because, in any case, people were inclined to return or start a new path. Late September and early October, with the increase in cases, there was a sharp decline in organs until the final closure on 23 October. So, from March 2020 to today, we were only able to operate in September 2020. ”
As for support from the state, how much was allocated and how did things actually go?
“There was help from the Conte government but anyway we’re talking about 40, 50% of fixed costs every month, so the rest came from our personal assets. With the Draghi government there has been no financial support so far. So it was the last refreshment at the end of November and then we no longer had any help from the government. ”
Has the situation changed with the arrival of Prime Minister Draghi?
With the Draghi government, the situation worsened. At least before there was a sports minister with this new government, that number had completely failed. Sector representation is Valentina VizaliFormer fencing champion, great athlete, he has a sporting delegation but he hasn’t done anything yet for our class. ”
Do you feel like you are being represented correctly to make your point of view and make your voice heard?
“We are not represented. The mistake also lies in the lack of a truly united union. Over the years, gyms have fought a lot, especially over pricing, to the point where they broke up, and now we instead understand the importance ofunion And having associations is not an end in itself. However, in Italy, it is also necessary to have knowledge because we have many online meetings with leaders of some political parties who mark everything in their notebooks without doing anything tangible, so we do not feel that we are represented and this makes us understand even more. The need for a minister for sports. “
Do you think we fundamentally do not understand the importance of sport in this situation and the benefits it will bring to people?
“After all these years I spent in this sector, we tried every way to try to introduce physical activity as a way of life. I note that there is no jurisdiction or desire on the part of our government to make fair communication about the benefits of sport. This is wrong because it suffices to look at other governments, including in That is European governments, such as Germany or England, and how much value they provide to these sectors. Not to mention the United States, which strongly encourages citizens to take up a sport that already begins in schools and colleges. Just think of the phrase “Mens sana in corpore sano” to understand the positive effect of physical activity on The body but above all the brain. ”
Do you think that when there is a reopening in the future there will be members? Will people have a desire to come to the gym or is the myth of “home sports” created too much?
I am convinced that people will return to physical activity in gyms and sports centers. Certainly in the beginning there will not be a classic wave and this will also depend a lot on the connections that the government will provide. There will be limitations because this virus has distinguished us and will score a lot because in our field it has changed a lot. As far as home training is concerned, many of my classmates have continued with it because it has been a way of continuity but it is not the same and it will never be. Already in the second wave there was a bit of general laziness because training was clearly limited. Those who used to work out in the gym will come back and whoever started working at home sometime we will find them in the gym so I am very confident about this. But a large part will do so when the government decides to communicate with citizens. ”