REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch has been in contact with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, in West London, after it announced plans to charge personal trainers a yearly charge for using its parks and open spaces for business.
The council wants PTs, and other business people including dog walkers, to pay a £350 “licence” to allow them to work in the park and therefore make money from its premises.
Jean-Ann said: “I understand the council wanting to install some kind of process and regulation for people using parks and open spaces to run their businesses from, but I’m concerned the suggested fee is too high and could stop people from using PTs, and therefore exercising.
“Currently the council insists only REPs-registered instructors carry out supervised exercise sessions in their parks, which is something I wholeheartedly support. However, as a former PT myself I understand how a fee of £350 a year would ultimately have to be passed on to clients, and could in turn stop them using a personal trainer. Working out in a park is not usually a permanent all year round option, and based on the current fee, and the number of uses per client, the fee that would be passed on or absorbed is significantly high to be a barrier. Encouraging more people to lead an active, and therefore healthier, lifestyle is something we should all be encouraging rather than discouraging.
“With this in mind I’ve asked the council to review and reduce the fee to an amount that PTs would find more palatable and is more relevant to the amount of time that they are able to use the parks. I’ve also suggested PTs are asked to wear their REPs lapel badges as a way of helping park staff ensure only REPs PTs practice in its facilities.”