I am a 20-year fitness leader at Fitness New West (FNW) in Centennial Community Centre (CCC) that just found out that city council was displacing our entire program to put the Canada Games Pool gym into our spacious gym.
It was a huge shock to all of us. We were never consulted, nor were our bosses. Everyone was blindsided with this decision.
FNW classes have been running for 39 years and support the physical, mental, and psychosocial health of the community. Regular active exercise is a key component of health and adding in the connectivity that classes bring makes it even more valuable.
Our classes are well-attended and have all ages participating. We support participants through family and health crises in addition to this unprecedented global pandemic where we were open and closed three times. And yet we all returned to exercise together to get through it connected and resilient. It is ironic to think that the city could toss our program away with a closed-door meeting.
I have taught fitness classes for over 37 years in addition to being a physiotherapist. I love teaching at FNW because there are dedicated, engaged participants, a great sound system, microphone, equipment, excellent teachers, and a great, large space.
This is hard to find. We have many participants who travel to attend FNW. There are no other options for relocation that can provide all these attributes. I have visited many other municipalities exercise class spaces and none of them are like what we have at FNW.
Perhaps the Canada Games Pool gym equipment could be lent to the high school until the new centre is ready. The participants who use this space would have likely found other options since it has been closed for months already. There are many other community options to lift weights.
I would also like to note that the FNW program is attended by a higher proportion of women than men. It appears to be a misogynistic choice to let the weight room take over our space.
I hope that you can help us in changing council’s decision by perhaps running an article about FNW or this story. I do believe that they will try to rush things through just as they had no consultation with us before making this decision.
Lori Dalin, New Westminster