sport, local-sport,

When the COVID-19 wave wiped Anthony Warton and Ben Pollet out of their respective martial arts centres, both of them started devising plans straight away for what High Impact Gym and Pollet’s Martial Arts would look like when they got the all clear to return to the mat. That all clear came on Tuesday morning when the NSW government announced that fitness centres would be allowed to reopen on Saturday July 13 and as you can expect, the veteran combat masters are locked and loaded for that fateful day. “We were prepared and ahead of the game… At every stage we anticipated and reacted accordingly,” Wharton said. Wharton’s the head trainer at High Impact Gym and even before the centre was closed down, safety precautions were already being put in place. “Right from the get-go we were practicing physical distancing,” he said. Next Saturday, the sessions at High Impact will be restricted to groups of ten and Wharton’s got plans in place for how his students will be able to do that safely. “We’ll have two classes running at two different areas of the centre,” he said. “The biggest challenge we’ll face when we return is that people will have to book into classes… it’ll be first in, best dressed. “We also won’t have any clinching or sparring. It will be all bag and pad work.” Much like Pollet’s, Wharton and the High Impact Centre continued to work through the lockdown with online classes, a delivery that was a big hit with the juniors. “The group that received the online training the best was the kids,” he said. “They were really open to it and very engaged in the online learning.” Pollet’s found success with its online delivery and will continue to use that method of training for the foreseeable future, even after the centres are open again. Ben Pollet’s proud of what his gym has offered and says the doors will be open for ‘anyone’ from July 13. “We’re fortunate because we’ve got such a big centre so we can space everyone out,” Pollet said. “We’ll have more classes with fewer people in them throughout the day. All the classes will be run on Saturday and we’re going to come back and do it on Sunday too just because we know a lot of guys will be keen to come in.”

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