A request for Chelmsford City Council to reverse ageist restrictions on gym use

A request for Chelmsford City Council to reverse ageist restrictions on gym use

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Angela Waters started this petition to Chelmsford City Cou (Leisure Dep)

My daughter and friends attend Riverside and use your new gym 3-4 times a week and presently enjoy early evening sessions.

Riverside has, until now, provided a ‘safe space’ for them and many other 14-15 year olds to use their energy, improve their health and fitness whilst safeguarding them from meeting in public spaces. The fact you are now banning under 16s from using your gym after 5.30pm has caused us great concern. My daughter can only use your gym outside of those times and I cannot understand why this must extend to weekends too? Adult members can use the gym at any time during the weekends! 

I appreciate you may have had complaints of others behaviour however most children are well-behaved in the gym and we feel very offended at your ‘blanket’ ban. Their behaviour is no less professional than any adult I’ve seen attend.  If a group of 50 year old members caused issues would you ban all adults from attending evening sessions? I doubt that very much.

With childhood obesity in the UK running at over 20% with a further 14% being overweight, the restriction on this use of the gym does nothing to address this problem.

It concerns me you are penalising a group of individuals due to their age. Age UK state that direct discrimination is when “you’re treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic; for example, if your local gym refuses to give you a membership because of your age”. Surely your proposal directly discriminates against my daughter because of her age.

It has also been proven that exercise helps relieve stress and improves mental health and wellbeing, something you should be encouraging young teens to carry out. 

Our suggestion is that you advise ALL members, regardless of age, that boisterous behaviour in the gym will not be tolerated and remove members that do not comply and reinstate the younger members access.

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