Covid’s second innings dampen spirits of Meerut’s sports goods manufacturers

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Due to the consecutive Covid-19 lockdowns in Uttar Pradesh, sports goods manufacturers said their finances were in shambles since all sports facilities and gyms have been shut.

Meerut-based companies, which cater to the requirements of domestic sportsmen and also export products to several cricket playing nations, are also worried. (Representative Photo)

One of the largest markets of sports goods and gym equipment in Asia is struggling due to consecutive lockdowns and prolonged closure of gymnasiums in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut.

The sports goods manufacturers said their finances were in shambles since all sports facilities and gyms have been shut across Uttar Pradesh and parts of the country for more than two months now.

“Since last year we have been facing hardships. After the first wave of Covid-19, there was a time when gyms reopened and we saw a huge demand for equipment as well as sports goods. But, as the second wave hit, the gyms and sports complexes were shut down again,” said Puneet Jain, owner of Vardhaman Sports and Gym.

READ: Unemployed due to Covid-19 pandemic, sports coaches frying samosa, selling tea in Uttar Pradesh

The area is also the hub of cricket bats and balls. Meerut-based companies, which cater to the requirements of domestic sportsmen and also export products to several cricket playing nations, are worried.

“We are not in a condition to pay all staffers and get the business running as there is a miniscule demand. The cricket community is still under lockdown as fear of another wave of the pandemic is rife. We hope things get better soon as most of our factories are working at merely 25 per cent capacity,” said Kapil Malik, the owner of a sports goods company at Surajkund.

However, the demand for home workout equipment is on the rise and businessmen are now focusing on inventing new machines for indoor exercises.

“The only rise in demand during lockdown is for equipment that can be used at home for workout like plates, dumbbells, pull up bars and push-up equipments along with resistance bands and other similar products,” said Kushal Chodhury, a business owner at Surajkund.

ALSO READ: Lockdown woes: Nearly 30% gyms and fitness centers across Delhi-NCR still shut

ALSO READ: Gyms in Delhi gear up for reopening, owners look to recoup losses

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