‘Being in a neighbourhood park removes a barrier for women and keeping a group small means women create relationships and don’t have the pressures of being in a large class of men,’ Babes on the Run operator Justine Guest said.
Cottesloe Council is developing a policy to control fitness groups after ‘boot camps’ comprising up to 100 people in parks generated noise and traffic congestion complaints from residents.
Concerns ratepayer-funded equipment is being used by private businesses have also been raised.
Ms Guest has used parks and foreshores, including Cottesloe Beach, for 10-client sessions since 2007 and has paid fees to use other councils’ areas, including in the City of Stirling.
She said fee-charging councils were often not aware of trainers’ overheads, but if fees were charged a council should have a register of qualified instructors and ask operators what park equipment was needed for all members of the community.
‘Boot camps shouldn’t be playing music and using a loudhailer, but I know some instructors who like to do the whole drill sergeant ‘Give me 20′ thing,’ X-Training Fitness operator Paul Jazwinski said.
Mr Jazwinski said he restricted his groups to 10 to 30 people for safety and to prevent shouting, and before he stopped his classes in Cottesloe about three months ago he held City Beach sessions that did not require payment to Cambridge Council.
‘To make it work, what boot camps need to do is book ovals like they do at the City of Vincent, with a small booking fee,’ Mr Jazwinski said.
Cottesloe Mayor Kevin Morgan said his Town’s policy was not intended to prohibit personal training groups and it may instead just give the council power to police situations where a group, whatever its size, stops the public using ratepayer-paid facilities or an instructor ‘honks his car’s horn at 5.30am to say ‘we’re here”.
Mr Morgan said instructors’ suggestions of appropriate equipment were always welcome, but there would be no trainer register because the council should not be an arbiter of approved businesses.