Long Eaton gym owner is “willing to dig heels in and say we’re not shutting” if Derbyshire is put into a local lockdown in the new year.

The independent gym owner cites the mental health of her clients as the major factor for wanting to stay open.

“I’ve got to do the right thing by people and stand up a bit. Watching my client’s mental health decline in the first lockdown was a painful experience,” states Lauren Svriskis, who runs The House of SK1 in Long Eaton.

Picture of Lauren Svirskis
Lauren has been running the House of SK1 gym with her husband Ski for 5 years. Photo Credit: Blee Carswell

“As a coach I care about my people and I didn’t feel like I could help them,” adds the 35-year-old.

Lauren continues: “If in January there isn’t another nationwide lockdown, I am completely willing to dig my heels in and say we’re not shutting.”

This response came as she was quizzed about rumours of a third lockdown in the new year.

Passionately she continues: “The mental health aspect of the lockdowns hasn’t even crossed the government’s mind.”

“They haven’t thought about the bigger picture and failed to recognise that the gym is about more than wanting big biceps, its how people manage their stress.”

Because of this Lauren and her husband organised equipment for their clients to take home for the first two lockdowns. They then livestreamed workouts that used the equipment via Facebook.

Michelle and her husband after a home workout
Michelle and her husband Scott. Home workouts were something “to look forward to.” Photo Credit: Michelle Riles

Both Wendy Maher, 47, and Michelle Rile, 40, are grateful for this and credit the gym with helping them get away from the kids to unwind during an otherwise difficult time.

“Training is the one time when I can focus on myself. For an hour I’ve got no phone, I’m not being a mum or wife, its just time for me to get away from the world,” says Michelle, a hairdresser from Long Eaton.

“My worries go away when I’m working out,” she adds.

Wendy after a home workout
Wendy after a homework during the last lockdown. Photo Credit: Wendy Maher

Wendy, a stay-at-home mum from Attenborough, would be disappointed if gyms were forced to close again. “It felt great to go back, you just can’t get the same buzz from home workouts.”

“I think gyms shouldn’t have to close. They are a safe tidy environment and for the most part you know the people who have been in there with you,” Michelle concludes.

Long Eaton, where the gym is located is currently in Tier 3. This means whilst they are open, a lot of changes have been made in line with government restrictions.

READ MORE: What you can and can’t do in Tier 3.

Wearing a frustrated face Lauren explains how incentives such as eat out to help out “didn’t stack up. The government weren’t doing things because they cared about the people.”

“They were clearly trying to balance the welfare of people against the economy. And unfortunately, they are two completely conflicting goals.”

Coronavirus timeline
Timeline showing how Coronavirus has effected life in England this year.

When asked about a possible local lockdown after the festive period Lauren is defiant in the fact that she would try to resist closing much as gyms in Liverpool did in October.

She also comments that this feeling is shared by the wider gym community.


Lauren continues: “Having got the statics on the transmission and infection rates for gyms. I feel the decision to close them during November failed to take into account the physical and mental impact it would have on people.”

“People will be down in January anyway and adding a further lockdown into the mix will be really problematic.”


Regardless of any future restriction she is confident that the gym will survive as a team.

“This year has really bonded the community around the gym together. Whatever happens in the future, I’m sure we’ll get through it.”