West Campus Gym Staying Strong Amid Pandemic
By Carli Rappaport
Photography By Fight Club scrubbed all their equipment to fight COVID-19. (Photo By: Carli Rappaport)
AUSTIN – On March 19th, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a shelter in place order, which temporarily shut down gyms and fitness studios citywide. West Campus’ go-to gym, Fight Club, closed its doors, leaving many UT students without a place to workout.
“At least 70 to 80 percent of our members are students, and in the Spring and the Fall, when class is in session, is when we make the majority of our revenue,” class trainer Kate Shomper said.
Fight Club has been working on implementing new cleaning procedures. This will include smaller classes, constant cleaning between workouts, and requiring clients to bring their own gym equipment.
Mike Bradford, the general manager, said they deep-cleaned everything.
“Sprays are even hard to come by, but we had enough that we could do it thoroughly,” Bradford said.
Until reopening, Shomper said she and other trainers are making a paycheck in other ways.
“Since most of us are students, they’ve offered us opportunities to come in and clean and get paid, and even some of the trainers can make workouts like sets and stuff like that,” Shomper said.
But with no one knowing when the Coronavirus pandemic will end, the timeline for reopening is uncertain.
“Yeah, small businesses are definitely very scared right now,” Bradford said.
Students still living in West Campus, are using their own equipment to stay fit in the quarantine.
Fight Club member Danielle Goldstone said she has been going on runs outside in the meantime, and using workouts posted on the fight club instagram page, but is missing the group support of Fight Club classes.
“Every time you go, you’ll get to meet new people, and you get to recognize people, and it starts to be fun cause you’ll make friends there,” Goldstone said.
Shomper said March 26, 2020 was Fight Club’s six-year anniversary.
“We didn’t get to celebrate that with our clients that everyone loves, so it’s rough right now,” Shomper said. “But I think everyone will power through. I think we will all get through this together and people will still come back to fight club when this is over with. It’s not like a forget it kind of thing.”
Fight Club is waiting on Gov. Abbott to lift Austin’s shelter in place order before reopening.