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Gym staff and fitness fanatics 'mistreated' after Fitness First's sudden closure
Getting in shape is usually at the top of everyone’s New Year’s resolutions, but some unlucky fitness fanatics came unstuck when their gym was unexpectedly shut down.
Personal trainers have been left jobless and gym-goers with nowhere to workout in 2013 since Fitness First in High Road, North Finchley, was suddenly closed on Christmas Eve.
Personal trainer Junior Mumun, 29, said staff and members were given no warning about the closure.
He was getting ready to start his working day on December 24 when he was called into an impromptu meeting at 10am.
Mr Mumun, who has worked at the club for one year, said: “We were told we had until 2.30pm to finish training and leave the building, but at 11.30am they started taking the equipment away.
“To let us know like that and on Christmas Eve was just crazy. The way we were mistreated was unbelievable.
“It was so unprofessional. It’s Fitness First, you think they’d give a good service but they didn’t give that to their members and their staff.”
Melissa McCullack had been a member at the gym for more than a year and turned up for a fitness session to discover her membership was being terminated.
She said: “I was training when they started taking all the equipment away – treadmills and cross-trainers were just being carried away.
“They were kicking down doors because they didn’t have keys. It was quite weird and very unprofessional.
“Fitness First must have known it was closing down but we were given no warning – I received a letter on Boxing Day. Now I don’t have anywhere to train.”
Locked doors were kicked open, wiring was cut, exercise balls were punctured and members’ lockers were ransacked as the club prepared for closure.
The gym will be taken over by New Fitness Exchange, which settled the deal in November.
Chairman of New Fitness Exchange Mike Colby, who has played hockey and squash for Great Britain, said: “We came here to take over the club and found it in a terrible state. The place was trashed.”
The new management team are busy renovating the site before the new club opens its doors on Monday January 14.
The Times Series is awaiting a comment from Fitness First.