Events centre gym closing

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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The SBS Fitness Studio, in Timaru, closes this week, with the council-run gym likely to be used only several hours a week at this stage.

The Timaru District Council took over the management and running of the SBS Events Centre, including the gym, 12 months ago. At that time it was stated the gym would remain open until at least January 31 this year.

Membership and use of the facility had fallen off markedly since council's gym at the CBay Aquatic Centre opened mid year.

Those attending the twice-weekly light circuit classes petitioned the council to continue with the classes, and after discussion, Sport Canterbury opted to take on the light circuit and Kiwi Seniors programmes, council's community services manager Sharon Matson said yesterday.

The gym will close on Thursday, and at this stage the three weekly sessions are the only ones planned for the gym, Mrs Matson said.

Last year council agreed to retain the light fitness equipment on site and hire the facility to approved groups. The hourly hire rate was $25 (plus GST) for the gym alone or $60 (plus GST) an hour for the gym and a CBAY fitness instructor.

Mrs Matson considered having Sport Canterbury run the sessions would be a better option for the participants than them having to organise the sessions themselves.

While the two groups would be the first to use the gym under the new arrangement, Mrs Matson hoped it would gain momentum, with other groups also using it.

The council had been unable to offer one part-time staff member alternative employment once the gym closed.

Sport Canterbury opted to take on the three weekly classes as part of its Active For Life programme, regional manager Verna Parker said, explaining the classes were an extension of its existing Green Prescription and fall prevention programme.

The classes will run at the same times and in the same format, targeting the 50-plus age group and those who were less active.

The sessions would cost $7.50. Concession cards would be available for $55 (for 10 classes over 10 weeks) or $100 (for 20 classes over 20 weeks).

Late last year 14 or 15 people from the light circuit class indicated they were interested in the new arrangement, while around 20 members of Kiwi Seniors group were interested in the new programme.

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- The Timaru Herald

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