Gym turns inside-out to keep business afloat

Containers at SportPlan Uitgeest

SportPlan, a gym in Uitgeest, has set up shipping containers with gym equipment in the parking lot, a creative solution to keep their business going during the lockdown.

SportPlan has tried multiple ways to keep people exercising during the lockdown in the Netherlands. In the summer, they had a make-shift gym outside by moving their equipment next to the building and covering it from the rain with a big plastic sheet. However, this was not always successful because when it rained, the water would stay in the sheet and at one point it came plummeting down.

“We had to come up with something otherwise people keep canceling their subscriptions,” says Mark Rakké, owner of SportPlan. This comes after five weeks of being fully closed during the second lockdown.

The shipping containers offer a better and more elegant solution. There are four shipping containers and a party tent in the parking lot of the gym. The containers are used to keep people and the gym equipment sheltered from the wind and the rain on the cold winter days. They also protect the equipment from being stolen as they are easy to lock.

“People are very enthusiastic that they finally can do their exercises again, and we are fully booked almost every day that we are open,” explains Jo, an employee at SportPlan. She also states that the containers are a huge improvement from the plastic sheet solution as they don’t have to carry the gym equipment in and out anymore.

The containers all have their own set of exercises. There is one container for cardio, one for weight-lifting and the third has two bigger machines for other muscle-building exercises. The last container just came in today and is going to be equipped very soon.  

Paul de Koning, a member of this gym for over a decade, says “before they announced the shipping containers I was doubting whether I should keep my membership here or not, because on the one hand I want to support my local business, but on the other hand I’m not gaining anything in return”.

Rakké confirms this by stating that “there have been lots cancelations throughout the whole year, but we still manage by doing stuff like this”.

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