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Chelmsford Council helping young people to keep fit

October 28, 2019 7:25 PM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

Chelmsford's young people are being offered a range of opportunities to keep fit. The City Council offers many different facilities, with admissions policies that are more generous than private sector gyms and has revised its pricing to help young people.

Most private gyms are only available for those aged 16 years or older. The council's gym at Riverside is, however, more generous and is available to ALL 14 and 15-year olds until 5:30pm on weekdays. After that time, 14 and 15 year olds need to be accompanied by an adult, because that is the busiest time at the gym. The Council serves ALL residents of the district, not just leisure scheme members, and has to accommodate diverse interests, different needs and competing demands for space.

All other facilities at Riverside (including the pools, spin studios, ice rink etc.) are available to younger teenagers at all times. Additionally, under 16's are permitted to use the other City Council operated gyms during supervised 'Teen Gym' sessions.

By way of additional support for younger people, the Council's monthly leisure membership price was reduced from £24.00 to £20.00 per month in June this year, whilst the range and quality of facilities improved significantly in the new Riverside.

The City Council is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all residents, through increasing formal and informal physical activity in adults and children. To that end, the Council will be considering a new strategy at the Cabinet meeting on 19th November. The priorities of this plan are:

  • Reduce excess weight and obesity and increase physical activity in adults and children
  • Alleviate loneliness and social isolation
  • Improve poor housing including fuel poverty and thermal comfort
  • Enabling people to age-well in Chelmsford
  • Reduce alcohol and substance misuse (including supply of illegal substances and behavioural addictions)

Said Leader of the Council Lib Dem Stephen Robinson, "Successive Governments have sold off school playing fields and cut back on the time in the school day for keeping fit. Chelmsford City Council is helping to fill that gap for local young people.

"I hope that schools across Chelmsford will join the Council in promoting these opportunities and we will ensure that council listens to feedback from residents and centre users on these policies."

Cllr. Jude Deakin (Cabinet Member with responsibility for Leisure) added, "Chelmsford City Council is fully committed to helping teenagers to lead independent, active lives through a wide range of opportunities at different facilities. You can find out more - including a download for the new app for your phone - at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/leisure-centres"