15/05/2001 - 22:00

Too heavy a weight

15/05/2001 - 22:00

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SIGNIFICANT changes are in the pipeline at the Renouf Fitness centres.

Too heavy a weight

SIGNIFICANT changes are in the pipeline at the Renouf Fitness centres.

The Hay Street fitness centre, which was open only three afternoons a week, has shut its doors. This centre was linked to the East Perth Renouf head franchise which, while it remains open, has been placed into the hands of the administrators, BDO.

Apparently no other Renouf Fitness centres have been affected.

The proposed change of management at Renouf coincides with warnings by the Ministry of Fair Trading regarding lengthy contracts with health clubs.

The warning was prompted by the fold of Newpark Fitness Club in Girrawheen, which left hundreds of members out of pocket.

Figures show that 84,000 Western Australians strive to stay healthy in an increasingly busy world by attending a gym or fitness centre.

However, a study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that 52 per cent of people who follow a fitness regime do so independently; that is, not at a gym.

“Most people (who do attend gyms and fitness centres) come along and say, ‘I just want to feel better about myself’,” Selby Health & Fitness joint-proprietor Mark Irwin said. “They want bikes, treadmills and fitness and lifestyle classes.”

Motivation to become fitter appeared to be cyclical, however, with plenty of people joining in at the beginning of the week, but getting less energetic by Friday, and general activity going quiet every three months, he said.

A Fitness WA spokesperson said the industry was an expensive one to be in, however.

“You don’t make a fortune and it’s a transient industry for staff,” she said.

Those registering as gym fitness instructors must pay $250 for an initial two years and then $170 per year after that. To maintain registration, an instructor must also earn credit points through home study and workshop attendance.

Nonetheless the Body Club has appeared to find a niche in the WA scene, perhaps due to campaigns attracting women to centres. ABS figures show that 56 per cent of WA memberships are purchased by women.

Research for the Book of Company Lists 2001 found the Body Club to be the heavyweight of WA’s fitness centre business. With 13 outlets and 28,000 members, BC sits at the top of the list of the top 20 fitness clubs in WA.

Ranked by number of members, the top-20 list includes 17 centres with only one outlet, in suburbs ranging from Joondalup to Rockingham.

Mr Irwin confirmed that the Body Club, as the largest and most visible fitness group, was seen as a standard by the public.

Selby Health & Fitness, which came in at number seven on the list with 2500 members, catered for the less glossy market and offered a more relaxed atmosphere, he said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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