On 23 March the UK went into lockdown, turning the world for many businesses and high streets upside down. While times are undoubtedly tough, and may well be for some time, change always presents an opportunity.
To recognise and promote the achievements of our town centre businesses flexing during these challenging times, we are launching a campaign called ‘Banbury Inspires’.
Through a series of personal stories, we will showcase Banbury business owners who refuse to be beaten, continue to evolve to meet the needs of their customers and who positively contribute to the wider community.
On 49a North Bar Street you will find Spit’n’Sawdust – the friendliest gym in Banbury! A gym that focuses on mental fitness as much as the physical. Traditionally, it provides boxercise classes, personal training and amateur boxing and cognitive behavioural therapy sessions.
We caught up with the owner and former boxing and kickboxing champion, Dave Earle, to find out how lockdown life is treating him.
How long have you been in Banbury and tell us what daily life like for you right now?
The gym has been in Banbury since 2003. From humble beginnings, Spit’n’Sawdust has grown into a fully equipped gymnasium with five rooms. Right now, we’re providing free one-hour cognitive group sessions for people managing anxiety and depression and a series of online fitness classes.
What have you found the singest hardest thing to deal with in this situation?
Definitely not knowing when lockdown life is going to end. This makes it hard for businesses to plan properly. My advice is to use the power of technology to stay connected. In the meantime, I am rather enjoying being a house husband and teaching myself how to be a better photographer!
Who are your typical customers and how have you adapted to continue to serve them?
Our boxing classes are most popular with men, but we pride ourselves on being able to cater for everyone. The gym is a social experience. So, whether you’re five years old, needing professional coaching or in retirement, Spit’n’Sawdust can help. A desire to workout is all you need.
What is your message to residents, shoppers and visitors of Banbury as we ease out of lockdown?
To do it gradually and to be considerate to others. Hopefully, the lockdown has reminded people of what is important – family and health.
There seems to be a real sense of communities coming together. I’d like to think more people may take the time to find out just how much is available to them on their own doorstep. As they say, you have to use it or face losing it!
Are you optimistic that as we emerge from this, it could be a chance to create a better Banbury?
Absolutely. We all need to stay positive and be look after our mental and physical health.
More people are definitely saying “hello” or making sure they smile as you walk by. I’ve witnessed neighbours coming together to sit outside their doors and chat with others in the street. These small acknowledgements demonstrate that we are all in this together.
Thank you, Dave!
If you would like to support about Spit’n’Sawdust, please check out its online class options below and follow the gym on Facebook.
Get fit, mentally and physically in Banbury
Fancy getting fit online while in lockdown? Try your first Spit’n’Sawdust’s online boxercise class for free! Sessions run Monday to Friday between 6.30 – 7.30 pm. Classes cost £15 a month thereafter. NHS staff can take part for free.
Those managing anxiety and depression should check out the gym’s Tribus classes. Taking place every Monday, Tribus includes a mix of Boxercise (11-11:45 am) followed by a cognitive behavioural therapy session (12 – 1 pm). You can take part in all or some of the sessions.
For information or to book, visit: www.snsbanbury.com/classroom