Members fitness class fight

Members fitness class fight

Mount Richon resident Helena Galer is appalled at how the City of Armadale is handling the transition of classes and services from Armadale Arena to the new Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre. Photograph – Richard Polden.

A large number of Armadale Arena members were urging the City of Armadale to reconsider its decision to cancel all group fitness classes at the popular gymnasium. 

Mount Richon resident and long-term member of the facility Helena Galer told The Examiner she was previously informed that the classes would continue as usual at the Armadale Arena and the same classes would be made available to all members at the new Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre when it opens in March. 

However Ms Galer said she and other members have since been informed that this was not the case with a new draft timetable proposed and new staff hired to take the group fitness classes. 

Ms Galer said she was devastated to say the least. 

“As a member and regular attendee for the last 13 years I took on board all explanations about the new facility especially if there would be any direct impact on the classes at Armadale Arena,” she said. 

“I provided feedback via Facebook polls and regularly kept myself involved and aware of the progress with staff at the Arena and was comforted by being informed that there would be a commitment to the services continuing as usual at the Arena. 

“In the last week I have since found out this is not the case with a draft timetable being released with not one of the current classes included in the schedule.”

Byford resident Amanda Speedy said she was appalled about the decision and also felt sorry for staff at the Townley Street facility of which she has been a member of for the last 10 years. 

“I feel like the staff have been railroaded as I know a lot of staff have had to reapply for the jobs that they currently hold,” she said. 

“The city didn’t make this decision five minutes ago, they would have known for a while that they were planning on heading in this direction. 

“I feel that the City of Armadale has not been transparent or honest during this whole process and no one has spoken to the members about what we actually want.” 

City of Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said arrangements of the fitness programs were only recently completed and Armadale Arena members were informed via a group email of the changes on January 14. 

“With the opening of the new centre it is anticipated that some Arena members will be disadvantaged by the changes and our staff are doing all they can in transition to accommodate these individuals, which involves the possibility of continuing some services at the Arena,” he said. 

“The majority if not all of the current classes at Armadale Arena will be replicated at the new centre and whilst the timetable has yet to be finalised the number of classes expected to be offered will raise from 28 to about 100 at the Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre.” 

Mr Zelones said the city was taking feedback from members of the public on the draft group fitness timetable.