MyFirstGym is ready to tackle the next pandemic as New South Wales lockdowns ease

 

Trailblazing Australian kid’s gym, MyFirstGym are opening two new locations in New South Wales to combat the negative impact physical inactivity during lockdown has had on children’s developmental milestones.

MyFirstGym, an Australian owned and operated children’s fitness franchise, had begun making a presence in Australia just prior to the beginning of COVID-19. From their first club in Hawthorne Queensland (QLD), they had grown to 9 locations across New South Whales (NSW) and QLD before the pandemic hit. With NSW about to come out of a lengthy lockdown on Monday the 11th of October, MyFirstGym is more committed than ever to its mission of inspiring movement amongst children 7 months to 15 years old.

 

 

 

The franchise will double their NSW network by the end of the 2021 by opening two new clubs in North Ryde and Shellharbour. Coupled with seven clubs across Brisbane and the Gold Coast and the two existing clubs in NSW, this will take MyFirstGym to 11 locations across Australia. CEO Steven Ryan believes their ethos will be more important than ever as lockdowns begin to ease.

“Our ethos is to inspire movement. We know that physical activity has an incredible effect on children’s mental and physical wellbeing, and we are desperate to get our NSW clubs open again so that we can continue delivering that message”, Ryan says.

While individual states in Australia battle to increase vaccination rates and bring down daily COVID-19 case numbers, there is another pandemic lurking quietly in the shadows that is about to become a much larger issue. The impacts of lockdowns, home schooling, cancelling of community sport and general COVID-19 fear has accelerated the rate of inactivity in our children. This inactivity has had a detrimental impact on our children’s mental and physical health, that is yet to be fully realised. MyFirstGym’s passion for getting children off screens and inspiring movement is only fuelled further by what has taken place across the world in the last 18 months.

As an example, one study carried out by the School of Public Health at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, compared 2426 children and adolescents (6–17 years) before and during the pandemic. The results showed that participants drastically reduced overall physical activity from an average of 540 to 105 minutes per week, while they increased screen time from an average of 170 to 450 minutes weekly. Its numbers like this that have people like Ryan worried about the physical and mental health of our kids post pandemic.

“The numbers don’t lie unfortunately. Screen time going up and physical activity going down is a recipe for disaster. We know this will lead to increases in obesity, sedentariness, anxiety and depression, all of which were already major issues prior to COVID-19”, Ryan stressed.

In addition to the obvious physical effects of inactivity, the mental impacts of COVID-19 and corresponding lockdowns on our children to this point haven’t really been discussed in detail. The Government is quick to point out the measures they have put in place for adults suffering mental health effects from losing jobs, closing businesses and simply being isolated. But Founder and Director at MyFirstGym, Dan Newton believes our kids will need just as much support.

“What about the 7 year old that hasn’t seen another child their own age for the last 16 weeks? Or the 8 year old that is falling behind at school as a result of both parents working while trying to home school? Or the 12 year old rising athlete, that hasn’t been able to train with their team mates and has now missed two full seasons of the sport they live for? These are the kids that we will be looking at inspiring through our programs”, Newton says.

“Whether it be MFG Ninja Warrior, gymnastics, martial arts, dance or our group fitness class specifically designed for kids, MFG Fit, the physical movement and social interaction will inspire our members. We know that what we do is important, more so now than ever”, Newton went on to say. “We will also be introducing MyFirstGym to VIC and ACT in 2022, which only helps us deliver our programs to more communities”.

 

For more information or commentary from the founder, CEO or club members please contact MyFirstGym. Both Steven Ryan and Dan Newton are available for interview if required.

ABOUT MYFIRSTGYM

MyFirstGym was founded by Dan and Erica Newton in Hawthorne QLD in 2017. Designed as a “one stop shop” for children’s fitness, MyFirstGym has cemented itself as the leader in this space. MyFirstGym currently has 9 locations across NSW and QLD and is forecasting to grow to 15 locations over the next 9 months. State of the art facilities, world class programs and amazing staff make MyFirstGym a place where children love to play, and parents love to stay.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Steven Ryan
Chief Executive Officer
Steven@myfirstgym.com.au
Mob: 0491 708 011
Dan Newton
Founder and Director
Dan@myfirstgym.com.au
Mob: 0434 071 536