On life support

SENIORS fitness classes have been binned at Coolbellup library and more could be cut across the city, after Cockburn council reviewed its Fit for Life program.

The Fit for Life classes were popular with some seniors because they only costs $4.50 per session and were easy to get to, but the council says some classes are no longer viable.

Crucial

“Classes may need to be cancelled by the end of November due to low participant numbers or because they are financially unviable,” says Cockburn community development manager Karoline Jamieson.

“The city subsidises these programs by paying room hire charges and the shortfall for instructor fees.

“Staff recently reviewed the existing programs and advised instructors of the status of each program, discussing options to continue classes.”

The Herald understands the fitness program had a budget of about $30,000, but following a recent council review it was cut by two-thirds, making the classes “unsustainable”.

Ms Jamieson said to continue the classes, council would have had to bump up the price or ask instructors to take a wage cut until participant numbers increased.

If these options prove unviable then programs will not be continued, she noted.

One senior who didn’t want to be named, has attended the Coolbellup class for years, and says the exercises were crucial for her mobility.

“After two hip replacements and a freak accident at home earlier this year, they have me well and truly on the move again…we really need the exercise sessions.”

She said other council fitness classes cost $8 or more, and her pension wouldn’t stretch to two or three sessions a week.

“Attending only one a week would negate any accumulative effect gained in two sessions.”

The council’s 2016 Age Friendly Strategy says: “Cockburn’s vision for older people is that they are valued, have optimal opportunities for good health, active participation and a sense of security while enjoying facilities and services that are accessible to and inclusive of their needs.”

by JUSTIN STAHL

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