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for them to use – indeed, before the members – until then an untouched
refurbishment, getting into the site market in the local community.
elen Fletcher, who runs
the senior classes at The involved entering restricted land, which While the centre is free to use for all
Canberra Fitness Centre, says she put customers off. One of the main BAE staff, non-BAE members pay £17.25
has seen a real improvement in the objectives of the refurb was therefore a month. However, pensioners pay just
L older members’ fitness and mobility to make the site more accessible and £10.50 a month to attend the gym in an

during her sessions, since the welcoming in order to attract new off-peak membership – very affordable
classes began in April this year. members, fi ll the gym at quiet times and, for most – and there’s also an option to
“Our over-60s classes are ultimately, increase revenue. simply pay each time they come to a class.
designed for participants of all “The centre has always been open The membership allows retired members
ability levels: some have never to the general public, but it was never to use the gym between 9am and 3.30pm,
exercised before, while others have advertised or pushed,” says Louise fi lling the gym’s capacity during the

heart problems and bad joints,” she Shaw, Canberra fi tness supervisor. “The previously quieter daytime hours.
says. “Through our variety of gentle advertising we decided to do in the local New equipment was selected from
T toning exercises, which include a area [after the refurb] was therefore the Matrix 5 Series – including treadmills,
warm-up on the treadmills followed to increase awareness that the gym step machines, ascent trainer and hybrid
by free weights, cycling, squats was not just for British Aerospace cycle – because of design elements
and fl oor work, there has been a employees, and subsequently to increase that make it easy for older people to
signifi cant improvement in fl exibility membership and turnover.” use, including step-through entry and
and even in confi dence levels. The refurbishment work included comfortable, pivoting arm rests.
“Some people who joined when improving access to the gym via a new The centre has also put on special
we fi rst started the classes could entrance, while Matrix Fitness Systems 30-minute classes for the over-60s,
barely get out of a chair and were provided 13 new pieces of fi tness including stretching and light weight
unsteady on their feet, but now equipment. Attention was also paid exercise classes. These have been
they’re a lot more mobile. to the overall look and feel of the site, deliberately scheduled at quiet times in
“We have a great time with which was essentially tired – patched up the gym to get more people using the
T our seniors and have some real time and time again – leading to several equipment on the gym fl oor.
characters who come along – we’ve complaints about poor facilities. “No re-training was necessary, as
even started doing our warm-up to instructors are simply running less
W W a George Formby CD, which was targeting a new market strenuous versions of classes we
brought in by one of our members. Although on the face of it a small already hold, but we always have two
We fi nd they really enjoy the benefi ts refurbishment at a small facility, it is the instructors in each class, so one can
R of exercise, and the classes are going strategy behind the project that makes it demonstrate the exercises while the
from strength to strength as more of particularly interesting: The Canberra other can help the members,” says Shaw.
them bring their friends along.” Fitness Centre took the decision to make “These classes are going very well and
the site more suitable for senior the response has been very positive.
Classes on exercise equipment
are scheduled for quiet gym times
(left), and (above) instructors are
on-hand to show how it’s done
64 Read Health Club Management online november/december 2009 © cybertrek 2009
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