PETALING JAYA: The seven initiatives unveiled by the government to help players in the sports industry would help them overcome them in the short term, according to industry experts.
However, they added that many in the industry are still struggling to keep afloat simply because they are not earning any income at the moment.
Rahmat Adnan, professor of exercise and sports science at Universiti Teknologi Mara, said the one-time relief grant of RM3,000 announced by the Ministry of Youth and Sports was a useful initiative.
âIt’s a good decision and at least there is some form of help for the fitness operators, but it is always a one-off help. I am not sure that this is enough in the long term, because this sector is for the moment completely closed â, he declared.
“It may take a few more months for the sports industry to reopen, so while the 3,000 RM is useful for the first month beyond that I’m not sure if that will be enough to cover the costs,” added Rahmat. .
Rahmat also said that as long as these sports complexes remain closed, their survival will remain a challenge.
âIt is only when customers physically visit their facilities that they can be paid to provide their services. Right now there are no clients, âhe said.
Rahmat said other useful initiatives were the moratorium on loans and the 50% rental exemption for those who are on the premises of facilities managed by the ministry.
âHowever, many operators are currently renting premises that do not belong to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Even multinationals are hit hard because they have to pay high rents. Everyone was affected and some decided their best option was to simply shut down their businesses, âhe said.
Likewise, Terrence Loh, Managing Director of F45 Training, also said that the most notable element of the package of initiatives was the relief grant of RM3,000.
âIt’s a form of aid, and we also have wage subsidies – which is a form of business support. However, the biggest cost in our fitness industry is our rental. I have two branches and the rent alone can be up to RM35,000, âhe said.
He hoped the government could consider moving more states into phase two of the national stimulus package and slowly allowing gym operators to reopen.
âEven if we open our doors, our business will not immediately rebound. There is a lot of work to be done to get our operations going again and our customers will not be coming back immediately. We hope the government could also consider allowing those who have been vaccinated with at least one dose to return to the gym, âhe said.
Noel Chelliah, owner of DailyMuscle LightHouse gym, said operators need direct help to help them survive the pandemic.
“We should be allowed to apply for grants and use the funds strictly for payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, insurance and other expenses that our facilities normally incur,” he said. .
He noted that in the United States, the Gym Mitigation and Survival Act is in the process of being filed, which would establish a subsidy program for qualifying fitness facilities.
âWithout direct help, our community’s gyms and fitness studios and tens of thousands of small businesses across the country will be forced into bankruptcy.
âOnly some gyms and coaches have been able to get their businesses online and have been fortunate enough to overcome the closures and restrictions. But many have not been able to make this change at all, âhe said.