Registrar responds to council park charges

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.”

New level 4 categories

National Occupational Standards have been produced for three new level 4 Specialist Instructor categories in Cancer, Long Term Neurological Conditions and Chronic Respiratory Disease. These standards underpin the new categories at level 4 on the Register and mean that training providers are now able to offer courses for working with clients with these conditions.

REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch reports: “This is great news, and increases the number of specialist instructor categories (currently there are SkillsActive approved courses in Cardiac Disease, Falls Prevention, Stroke, Mental Health, Back Pain and Obesity/Diabetes).

“If we as an industry are to work with medics and healthcare practitioners as professionals we need to have relevant specialist knowledge and the introduction of standards for these additional level 4 categories takes us nearer to this goal.

“Training providers can now submit courses on working with clients with these conditions to SkillsActive for approval, which in turn means more REPs members can make the step to level 4 Specialist Instructor.”

Fitness Training Discount…

Interested in a 50% contribution towards the cost of fitness training?

SkillsActive and the FIA are working together to submit an application to the Joint Investment Programme (JIP) strand of the Government’s new Growth and Innovation Fund. Through JIP, employers (including the self employed) can receive a 50% contribution from Government towards the cost of fitness training for their employees in areas ranging from general qualifications such as customer service, to more specific training in areas such as behaviour change and the management of lower back pain.

Remember, if you are self employed you are eligible for the JIP as well. Just fill in the survey on your own behalf, as opposed to completing it on behalf of your employees.

To receive 50% off the cost of completing these qualifications please visit – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VSTFNHM to register your interest before Friday 13th May 2011.

Top US gym chain to open in UK

Upmarket stateside gym-chain Equinox is looking for two London locations with plans to expand across Europe.

Chief executive, Harvey Spevak, expects Equinox to attract the same “active, type-A personality” customers as it does in Manhattan and in the other US urban areas where it has become a fixture. With locker rooms stuffed with Kiehl’s products and on-site luxury clothing stores, the company has dodged the downturn that afflicted mass-market fitness chains, freeing up cash to invest in international expansion.

Mr Spevak said Equinox would be “in a category of one” when it opens in the UK. “We have always had a great interest in bringing Equinox to the London market first, because of the great demand from locals and expats who are familiar with the brand. There is nothing comparable in the London market,” he says. The company opened its first location on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1991 and now has 18 clubs in Manhattan, and dozens more in cities from Hollywood to Washington.

The company plans to open its London gyms next year.

Sport and Fitness

REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch outlined the role the of the Register, and its relevance to sports science graduates, at the annual British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) student conference held at the University of Chester.

She said: “Each year we get an increasing number of applications for membership from graduates, most notably those with sports science degrees. However, as every course is different it’s important that students are aware of the REPs structure and the pathways onto the Register available to graduates.

“It was great to meet the students at the BASES conference, in particular I loved their enthusiasm and interest in the REPs level 4 specialist instructor category.”

New study into type 2 diabetes and exercise

Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine are investigating why exercise can feel more difficult for people with type 2 diabetes than it does for those without the disease.

The new study will examine 50 women aged between 50 and 75, with each being questioned about their level of comfort when exercising, and the findings for those with diabetes will then be compared to women without the disease of a similar age, weightand physical ability.

If this study is able to confirm findings from previous research that revealed that exercise felt harder for those people with diabetes, then it is hoped it will be possible to design specific exercise programmesfor people with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes study

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