Sudden closure of youth gym in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 August 2016

The youth gym will be changed in to a hot yoga studio similar to the picture

The youth gym will be changed in to a hot yoga studio similar to the picture

Archant

A note on the door was the first indication that parents had that a regularly-used children’s gym had closed according to a concerned mother of two..

Karen Tett, who lives in the Chiswell Green area, hit out at the closure of the youth gym at at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans, which is operated by Everyone Active in partnership with the district council, and said had been shut without any notice.

The gym is being replaced by a hot yoga studio which is due to open in September. A new youth activity programme will also be put in place.

Karen said: “There’s literally just a note on the door saying that the gym is closed forever.

“Nobody has been emailed or notified and my friend had just joined her kids up and she wasn’t told that they were planning on closing the youth gym.

“They’re trying to promote children doing fitness but then they have closed it and you can’t join the adult gym until you’re 16.”

Karen believes that the closure will have a knock-on effect on parents who use the adult gym in the centre.

She continued: “The point is that adults drop their children off at the youth gym and then use the adult one and this limits what parents can do now.”

She also maintained that her children were disappointed because “they like going there with their mates”.

Karen added: “My children were quite shocked and it’s a social thing as well as a fitness thing.”

Everyone Active contested the assertion that the gym was well used and said it “wasn’t very popular.” Research had shown that a youth activity programme would be “more effective”.

The new activity programme will provide children from the age of eight with fitness classes including badminton, dance and yoga.

Steve Cox, Everyone Active contract manager, commented: “Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre carried out extensive communication prior to the closure of the youth gym.

“All members were personally emailed or written to and this was also publicised on social media.

“Members are encouraged to provide the centre with contact details so that they can be kept informed of any changes occurring at the centre.”

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