Weekend Post (South Africa)

Anger as Hobie Beach gym equipment ripped up

- Yoliswa Sobuwa sobuway@timesmedia.co.za

EXERCISE equipment removed from an outdoor trim gym on Hobie Beach yesterday to make way for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championsh­ip has left Port Elizabeth gym bunnies hopping mad.

Residents were left shocked when the equipment was removed by municipal workers.

The outdoor trim gym in Summerstra­nd had a triple air walker, spinning bike and push pull-up chair combo.

Municipal spokesman Mzobanzi Jikazana said the municipali­ty would identify an alternativ­e venue for the equipment.

“We had to remove the equipment as it was on a transition area for Ironman,” Jikazana said.

The 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championsh­ip will take place in September.

Ironman South Africa spokesman Michael Flanagan said the gym equipment had been on an important area already demarcated as an event site for the competitio­n.

“As part of the ongoing inspection­s for the city’s state of readiness to host the world championsh­ip, the global organising team will be conducting inspection­s on the site in April over the Ironman African Championsh­ip period and the host city needs to ensure that the terms of the bid are met,” he said.

But this did not sit well with residents who criticised the municipali­ty for poor planning and wasting money.

Ntomboxolo Myathaza, 34, said: “They knew from last year when the equipment was put here that there is also Ironman. It’s not like it is the first time that the municipali­ty is hosting an Ironman.”

Charles Minaar, 55, who was equally surprised, said he had started using the trim gym in December.

“We can hardly afford the gym and this is a community area where you can freely work out.”

 ?? PHOTOGRAPH: EUGENE COETZEE ?? NOT FAIR: The gym equipment at Hobie Beach was removed yesterday
PHOTOGRAPH: EUGENE COETZEE NOT FAIR: The gym equipment at Hobie Beach was removed yesterday

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