A bikers’ group, Bhutan Raven Motorcycle Club (BRMC), has taken the responsibility to maintain the equipment of five open gyms in Phuentsholing town.

The move comes after the open-air gym equipment suffered breakdowns due to overuse and left without care.

Installed more than a year ago, the open gyms attracted huge number of health enthusiasts. Over time, the equipment started to break down and remained without repairs and maintenance.

Phuentsholing thromde’s survey found that the five gyms have 41 different equipment of which 21 were unusable and in need of repair.

Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said the main problem with the gyms was that proper handing-and-taking over were not carried out.

“Open gyms were initiated by the health ministry,” thrompon said, adding that the thromde supported in providing space and with installation.

Although the open gyms helped, without a custodian, the equipment was getting damaged rapidly.

Thromde, which did not have the authority to repair and maintain the equipment decided to explore means to maintain. The bikers’ group was interested to support.

The equipment’s ownership has been handed over to the motorcycle club recently.

BRMC is a non-profit club formed in June 2013 and has 28 members.

Its general secretary, Dawa Gyeltshen said the group decided to take the responsibility after the bikers noticed the deteriorating condition of the gym equipment on a weekend ride.

“Due to the condition of the equipment, gyms remained idle,” he said.

“There are old people who come to exercise, it could be risky.”

Dawa Gyeltshen also said that people from across the border came to use the open gyms.

Meanwhile, four open gym equipment have already been repaired for use. The remaining one would be repaired soon, BRMC members said.

The biker club has spent about Nu 82,000 to repair the equipment.

A BRMC member Sonam Tshering, who took over the responsibility to maintain the open gym near the trade office, said that the equipment was damaged and unusable.

“Except for one machine, all others have been restored to use,” he said, explaining that the particular equipment has been given to a workshop for repairs.

Sonam Tshering said most equipment needed new bearings and washers.

The thromde has also shifted an open gym located opposite the thromde office to Karbreytar, a more feasible area for health enthusiasts.

Uttar Kumar Rai said thromde is planning to install two more open gyms soon.

“We want to see if organisations could install as a Corporate Social Responsibility,” he said.

Thromde tshogpas would also be actively deployed in monitoring the gym conditions, he said. Tshogpas would report to the motorcycle club if there were needs for maintenance. “It is everybody’s responsibility to use the gym properly,” he said.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing