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‘Flip of a coin’ - gym owner pushes on with new site amid rising coronavirus cases

PUBLISHED: 11:35 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 16 October 2020

Former boxer Jackson Williams at his new gym, Tower Fitness at Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Former boxer Jackson Williams at his new gym, Tower Fitness at Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

A gym owner says he was determined to push on with opening a second site despite rising coronavirus cases.

Tower Fitness at Fakenham, the new gym opened by former boxer Jackson Williams. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTower Fitness at Fakenham, the new gym opened by former boxer Jackson Williams. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jackson Williams, 39, is the owner of Tower Fitness Gym in Norwich and opened a new site on Fakenham’s Clipbush Business Park on October 12.

Mr Williams has based the gym around boxing fitness due to his background in the sport. He has competed in around 16 professional fights, including a bout with then-rising star Amir Khan, and hosts corporate boxing shows across Norfolk.

The owner said despite potential restrictions and uncertainty around gyms - in Liverpool, which is now in the government’s tier three, gyms have been ordered to close - he did not want to delay his opening.

Mr Williams, who has completed fitness challenges including running across America, said: “When is the right time? [Am I] going to wait until next year?

Former boxer Jackson Williams in his new gym, Tower Fitness at Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFormer boxer Jackson Williams in his new gym, Tower Fitness at Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“If we didn’t do this now when would I have done it? We could have waited until next year but the site needs paying, the rent needs paying.

“I need to get people in here and I’m delighted that we have 40 members at the minute.

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“If the government shuts things down, then hopefully the guys on the six-week free membership plan will either say keep the money for when we start again, but if not we will reimburse their money.

Former boxer Jackson Williams in his new gym, Tower Fitness at Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFormer boxer Jackson Williams in his new gym, Tower Fitness at Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We don’t know what else we can do. You flip a coin, either we’re going to stay open, or not. The government got to do what they need to at the end of the day.”

The gym does not have free weights or treadmills, and instead uses a box, move, burn programme for members, having them complete three-minute interval boxing rounds.

Tower Fitness is only hosting sessions at the moment due to the pandemic

This also allows Mr Williams to check that people are wiping their hands and keeping Covid-19 safe.

Tower Fitness at Fakenham, the new gym opened by former boxer Jackson Williams. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTower Fitness at Fakenham, the new gym opened by former boxer Jackson Williams. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It’s still a bit nerve-wracking, it’s all a bit on tenterhooks,” he said.

“Between each station, we have a minute break and get the guys to wipe their hands. We have hand sanitisers everywhere, and the QR code as well.”

Mr Williams has owned gyms since 2011, originally opening in Norfolk Tower in Norwich.


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