Jobs to go as gym goes virtual
JOBS will be lost as a local gym goes 'virtual' at the end of the month.
The gym at the Southern Cross University (SCU) Coffs Harbour campus will adopt the Les Mills brand of group fitness classes delivered in a virtual mode combined with a selection of cardio machines and exercise equipment.
"The introduction of Les Mills virtual classes offers an option not available currently in the Coffs Harbour area," an SCU spokesperson said.
"The previous gym was not financially viable and this new model allows the facility to continue to operate.
"In moving to a virtual model there are regrettably four casual positions no longer required."
The new facility will only be accessible to staff and students.
Marjie Robins recently joined the gym to improve her fitness and because of the interruptions to her warm water exercise classes at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus due to a broken water heater.
"For a couple of weeks now I haven't been able to do classes at the pool at the hospital as the heater gave up the ghost. A new one has been ordered and it's expected to arrive this week or next week," Marjie said.
She will miss the friendly staff at the university gym and is now weighing up her options but friends tell her the only affordable place for pensioners and students is the local PCYC.
"It was always a very friendly place. You would walk in and people would greet you at the front. In my younger days it was all about leotards and looks but this was always a very comfortable place for me to be," Marjie said.
But it's the loss of jobs that is the most distressing aspect.
"I was hearing that we have the highest percentage of unemployed young people in NSW and now somebody has made this decision that people can exercise in front of the TV, but we're losing people.
"For me it's personal - I know how awful it feels walking in and 'bam' nobody knows about it and suddenly you're out of a job."
The new virtual facility at SCU will operate extended hours and continue to be used as a teaching space by the School of Health and Human Sciences.
"These changes to the facility and services will allow the University to offer free access to all Coffs Harbour campus staff and students," the SCU spokesperson said.
The university has confirmed that members have been informed of the impending change and that memberships will be fully refunded.
"Consultation with gym staff and other stakeholders regarding the change was undertaken over the past couple of months before the final decision was made," the spokesperson said.
The changes are effective from June 30.