He had been waiting for this moment for almost a year. On October 17, Yazid Amghar got back into the ring during a KO success in front of Nicaraguan Daniel Mendoza, at the Marcel-Cerdan sports center in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine). But, for several months, the super-light of the Olympic Boxing Club of Pont-Sainte-Maxence has been leading a different battle head-on.
He is indeed the manager of a boxing and fitness room, the Boxing Hall, which he opened four years ago in the 20th arrondissement of Paris. A structure that he was forced to close like all his counterparts on March 15, by government decision due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From the day before, the 31-year-old man had preferred to anticipate the Prime Minister’s decision to deal with any eventuality.
“I had decided to close because there were too many unknowns, breathes Yazid Amghar. I was worried and I still have a responsibility towards my students. As in the ring, the Pontois decides to adapt quickly to this new adversary, unknown and unpredictable. Less than a week later, he launched online classes on the social network Instagram, with his four coaches. The sessions are free and open to everyone.
“We absolutely wanted to keep a social link with our members,” says the boxer. We put a schedule in place, with around 4 hours of lessons per day, including beginner lessons so that people can enjoy them as a family. And it worked very well, we had hyper-positive and rewarding feedback. Sometimes between 300 and 400 people were behind their screens. We realized that through online courses, there was real potential, even if it is almost another profession. “
To welcome the initiative, some students then offer teachers to pay for their sessions. Hall Boxing then switched to another social network, Zoom, offering lesson packs for around six euros per unit. “They wanted to be united, they understood that the period was very complicated for us, breathes the coach, grateful. We still continued on Instagram, for those who could not afford. Financially and psychologically, it was a breath of fresh air. Finally, the confinement allowed us to develop a new activity. “
The room is closed again since September 30
From June 1, outdoor sessions outdoors are authorized, without opposition and for a maximum of ten people. And three weeks later, the room is finally accessible again. “We were happy to see our students again, we had missed physical contact so much,” smiles Yazid Amghar. We stayed open in July and August, and we have a great September. People really wanted to come back, we were pleasantly surprised. We still continued to give our courses online, because it favored some in terms of budget or schedule. We even set up one of our offices for that. “
But on September 30, it’s a cold shower: sports halls must again close in the capital in the face of the resurgence of the virus. “There, it was very hard to accept, more than the first time”, recognizes the Champion of the European Union of welterweight, who manages to maintain around thirty hours of lessons between those outside and those via the Web, compared to 70 in normal times. “It’s still DIY,” he continues. The shortfall is enormous. There are still people who have not returned, including some who are simply afraid of the disease… ”
Added to this slowdown in activity is a certain lack of understanding. If his company has indeed received the bonus of € 1,500 promised by the state, Yazid Amghar is struggling to understand the treatment inflicted on sports halls. “I want to trust those who lead us, but there are a lot of inconsistencies, regrets the thirty-something. In my classroom, there are a maximum of 10 per hour of class, we can find plenty of solutions so that the students are not in contact. And we see the shopping centers, the metro, with people glued to each other. Why do dance halls remain open, but gyms not? They don’t realize it’s the investment of a lifetime. Especially since sport is an essential tool for health. During confinement, some people told me that they had been saved… ”
While he is not afraid of having to close shop permanently, the entrepreneur is looking very cautiously over the coming months. “Fortunately, I have always had a management of a good father, welcomes the person concerned. And my banker always advised me to keep cash that allowed me to cover a one-year closure. I listened to him word for word and even called him to thank him. We are in a situation where we have no visibility, we imagine a lot of scenarios. Every day that passes is difficult. We have to redo business plans every week, every month, to adapt to the situation. But I remain positive: I try to tell myself that, whatever happens, we will find solutions… ”
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr