Mother speaks out about Littlehampton Wave’s junior gym sessions

Dozens of residents queued outside the Littlehampton Wave on Friday (March 29), to catch a glimpse of the new leisure centre at its grand opening. SUS-190329-144255001
Dozens of residents queued outside the Littlehampton Wave on Friday (March 29), to catch a glimpse of the new leisure centre at its grand opening. SUS-190329-144255001

A Littlehampton mother has spoken out about the gym sessions for minors at Littlehampton Wave.

Vikki Bulezuik said her son Josh, 14, had struggled to book a place on the junior gym sessions – and felt she was wasting the year’s membership she had paid for him.

He had been going to the gym at the old leisure centre on a pay-as-you-go basis, but the problems had started when Littlehampton Wave and its gym opened in March, the 41-year-old from Harsfold Road, Littlehampton, said.

She added: “He is really stressed at school and about to go into Year 10; the gym is really important to him and now he feels it has been taken away from him. He is really upset about it.

“Aren’t we supposed to be teaching our young people to be fit and healthy?”

Vikki’s concerns echoed those from other parents whose children had previously been able to walk into the sessions – but now had to book ahead.

A Littlehampton Wave spokesman said the ‘more formalised process of booking’ was to ‘maximise time for youngsters to attend after school’.

They said: “We can assure customers that we have not decreased the number of places available nor the number of sessions, in fact we have increased spaces. But due to popularity we now have to enforce the maximum number per session in line with official guidelines; and to make it fair, attendees now have to book in advance rather than just turning up.

“Previously there were three one-hour sessions each week day starting at 3pm, however, from Monday 20 May these start half an hour later from 3.30pm. While the two weekend sessions remain at 11am-1pm and 1pm-4pm the total number of hours open to juniors has not changed.”

They added that a level 3 qualified instructor had to supervise the advised number of young people per session, in line with UK Active guidelines. The figure was 12, but will increase to 15 ‘in light of an increase in demand and to support more young people to be active’.

They said: “We are aware that demand is high and are looking into several solutions, including group exercise classes designed for and exclusive to the junior membership. We are also looking into options to allow additional junior members into the gym.”