WESTFIELD, NJ — In an effort to help the businesses recoup losses caused by the pandemic, the town is allowing gym owners and personal trainers to hold fitness classes and trainings at municipal parks free of charge.

The program will prioritize Westfield businesses, with non-Westfield businesses being accepted once the local requests are met. Class sizes will be capped at 25 people and will have to adhere to social distancing, not share equipment and follow other state guidelines. Typically, businesses pay the town to use the fields.

“We are being good neighbors to some of our gyms and personal trainers in town,” said Don Bogardus, the town’s recreation director. “We want their needs met, so we can have them get some income back.”

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Tamaques park will be exempt from the program, since town officials said it already is highly used.

“We tried to spread it out and put it in different parks so everybody wasn’t on top of each other,” Bogardus said.

Tony Bianchino, the owner of the personal fitness business Out Run Your Fork, which operates in Westfield, said he would consider using the parks.

“I think it's great, I think it's fair, and I think it’s generous,” Bianchino said.

Trainer’s and gym’s park permits will expire on June 30, 2020, with a two-week extension available starting June 22. Permits will be null and void when gyms are allowed to open again. If athletic fields are available for youth sports and gyms are still closed, trainers' requested field use may be canceled. The following areas will be available for use:

  • Gumbert Basketball Courts
  • Gumbert Field 1
  • Gumbert Field 2
  • Gumbert Field 3
  • Sycamore Field
  • Memorial Field 1
  • Memorial Field 2
  • Memorial Field 3
  • Memorial Field 4

Email: danieljustinhan@gmail.com | Twitter: @danieljhan_

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