Visitors in trainers and high-vis jackets are seen outside gym

Visitors in trainers and high-vis jackets are seen outside gym

March 25, 2021

Well-built visitors in trainers, hard hats and ill-fitting high-vis jackets are seen outside a gym accused of lockdown breaches – after bosses insisted it was closed for workouts but they had the decorators in

  • Spartans Gym in Southampton was taken to court accused of failing to close 
  • Pictures now show people wearing high visibility jackets outside the premises
  • MailOnline approached gym for comment; spokesman said Spartans was closed

A gym that was taken to court accused of failing to close during the second lockdown has raised eyebrows as people wearing tracksuits, trainers and ill-fitting high-vis jackets were pictured outside.  

Spartans Gym in Southampton had been charged with two counts of failing to comply with reasonable instruction given by a relevant person, and was made the subject to a prohibition notice in November last year.

And in December, up to 60 people were seen heading in and out of the premises despite the Tier 4 lockdown requiring gyms to close. At the time, Spartans had denied it was open and said those entering were painters and decorators. 

Pictures now show people wearing jogging bottoms, high visibility jackets and construction helmets outside the gym. A witness claimed more than 20 people had come and gone from the venue despite the lockdown prohibiting gyms operating. 

MailOnline approached the gym for comment over the allegation that it was still operating despite the shutdown. 

An automatic reply from Spartans said: ‘In keeping with government guidelines and rules Spartans is now closed.

Pictures show people wearing high visibility jackets outside the premises in Southampton 


Many of those pictured outside Spartans Gym were wearing tracksuit bottoms and trainers

A Spartans spokesman said: ‘In keeping with government guidelines and rules Spartans is now closed’

Pictured: A man outside Spartans Gym in Southampton. A Spartans spokesman said: ‘In keeping with government guidelines and rules Spartans is now closed’

‘We kindly ask members to support us through this where possible so we can remain open, discounted membership will be offered in the future to all those who continue to support us.’

MailOnline has asked for clarification on whether the gym denies staying open, but has not received further comment. 

In late December last year as many as 60 people had been seen heading in and out of the family-run premises, despite the area being under Tier 4 – requiring all gyms and sports facilities to close.

The gym had denied it was open to MailOnline and claimed those heading in were painters and decorators.

Spartans had said: ‘We are closed but doing a lot of maintenance and also trying paint, taking advantage of being closed… people coming and going will be working.’ 

Spartans Gym and its ‘boss’ Josh Gosling had appeared at Southampton Magistrates Court on November 13.


Pictures now show people wearing high visibility jackets outside the premises in Southampton

But in a strange twist, appearing at court charged with breaking coronavirus legislation, Gosling denied being the gym owner and claimed he was simply a passionate member.

Spartans Gym was first brought to the authorities attention on the morning of November 5 following reports the gym was not observing the legislation during the second lockdown

Officers handed over documents and warned a man they believed to be the manager that he would be taken to court if he continued to flout the rules.

Appearing in court, Gosling, who represented himself, pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to comply with reasonable instruction given by a relevant person, claiming he had no authority to decide if the gym remained open.

Spartans Gym faced the same charges although it was not clear who actually owns the business, with Gosling saying it is now owned by a man called ‘Dean’.

Government documents show that someone named Dean Little, 34, was appointed director on July 1, 2020.  

Spartans Gym was first brought to the authorities attention on the morning of November 5 following reports the gym was not observing the legislation during the second lockdown 

Gosling had told the judge: ‘First of all I don’t know why I’m here. I am not a manager. I have no standing. I am just a passionate member of the gym. I care about it.’

When asked why police officers and staff at Southampton City Council thought he was the manager, Gosling said he had simply been at the gym when they turned up.

He continued: ‘I stood and spoke about my thoughts about what should happen with gyms in the UK.

‘I am not the owner of the gym…I don’t believe that what the government has done is correct.’ 

A hearing for Gosling, and Spartans Gym, was adjourned until January 27 when a full trial was set to take place – but charges against them were dropped, according to the Daily Echo.      

Court documents revealed that the offences against Gosling and Spartans were withdrawn.

Spartans Gym Southampton Limited had no company officers at the time, and the council said in late January it was investigating other lines of enquiry which could to lead to further legal proceedings.

It is not clear whether any further action has been taken since then. 

Southampton City Council has been approached for comment.  

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