Pool gym a moral stand
I was appalled to read ( Hutt News, May 12) the objections of the local gyms to the councils plan to incorporate a fitness suite into the Huia pool redevelopment. Their dire warning of ‘‘unwise moral signals’’ seems rather hypocritical in the circumstances.
The Hutt faces increasing challenges of ageing and obesity and needs to provide as much support to healthy lifestyles and rehabilitation as possible. This is fully in keeping with the Hutt City Council vision of making the Hutt a great place to live, work and play.
When it seems like there is a new takeaway shop opening up every other week, and elective surgery rates are on the rise, there is a burning need for entrylevel and rehabilitation-focused exercise facilities. Just as schools do not see kindergartens as competition, nor should the commercial gyms be so alarmed by this market development.
As a past member of Naenae’s fitness suite and current member of one of the commercial gyms I believe each offering is different, with a different market segment. Indeed the entry of the fitness suites into the market are a potential win for the gyms as they have the potential to attract people to acquire the exercise habit or required mobility in an affordable, non threatening environment, thus increasing the overall market size and potential customer base.
It is a common marketing strategy to grow the market rather than just fight it out for a share of it; and thus savvy businesses will recognise this. Rather than team up to fight competition, the gyms should team up to fight obesity and inactive lifestyles and recognise the unique role the fitness suite has to play. That would be a moral stand.