Sep 17, 2020
A father-of-two, whose regular sessions at a Bannatyne Health Club help him cope with Multiple Sclerosis, was so devastated about gyms being closed during the Covid pandemic he contacted his MP demanding they be allowed to reopen.
Gary Simpson, of Wellingborough, found his fitness levels plummeted while he was unable to attend his local Bannatyne Health Club, based at Wallis Close, Park Farm Industrial Estate.
He strongly believed it was vitally important that gyms should open when lockdown eased and, as a result, contacted the Westminster office of his MP Peter Bone about the issue.
The 46-year-old father-of-two joined the Bannatyne Health Club four years ago after moving to the Northamptonshire market town.
With the support of staff at the Bannatyne club, Gary’s fitness levels and mental wellbeing improved from when he had had to rely on walking sticks or a wheelchair to get about.
While Gary’s type of Multiple Sclerosis, which is progressive, means he never will be fully fit, his regular gym sessions meant he was able to walk short distances.
He said: “The staff at Bannatyne’s have high levels of expertise and they tailored my fitness regimes to match my abilities and my fitness goals.
Gary, who is married to Caroline with whom he has two sons Joshua, 12, and Aaron, nine, said: “Regular sessions at Wellingborough help me both mentally and physically.
“I was gutted when the gym closed due to Covid as I found my body becoming weaker. I was so upset that gyms were not being allowed to open after lockdown first eased that I contacted my local MP about the issue.
“It was great news when that situation changed. I was so happy to get back to the gym and I can’t wait to regain my previous level of fitness.
“It was fantastic seeing my gym friends and the amazing staff, who are so passionate about enabling people to become the fittest they can. It is the commitment and support of the team at Bannatyne’s that is keeping me out of a wheelchair.”
Stephen Logan, General Manager at Bannatyne Wellingborough, said: “Basic mobility is something that many able-bodied people take for granted. Gary had worked so hard to improve his strength and fitness.
“It was lovely to welcome him back to the club and we look forward to helping him get back to where he was physically before lockdown.“