Residents without a gym after memberships sold out

Derek Montague
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Only 150 memberships were available at 5 Wing Recreation Centre

5 Wing Fitness Sports and Recreation Centre

It took no more than two hours, on the morning of June 16, for all 150 civilian gym memberships to be sold out at the 5 Wing Fitness Sports and Recreation Centre.

The base fitness centre, owned and operated by the Department of National Defense, is the only public fitness centre in Central Labrador.

Since the gym is, first and foremost, meant for military personal, civilian use is tightly limited and the demand is constantly higher than the number of memberships.

The $125 memberships are valid for three-month periods, after which they are redistributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

On June 16, memberships for the new three-month block, which covers July-September, went on sale at 6 a.m. Some people rose out of bed earlier than usual to ensure they’d get one.

One such person, Jordon Blake, drove up from North West River with a friend at 5: 20 a.m. in order to be in the early lineup.  His diligence paid off, as he made it to the fitness centre in time to purchase a membership.

“When we got there, there was a lineup with probably 10 people ahead of me,” said Blake.

“And then, at quarter after (six), there was another lineup behind me; there must have been 40 people at least.”

People can still exercise at the gym without a membership. But a day pass, however, costs ten dollars. For someone, like Blake, who plans too work out regularly, that could add up to a lot of money.

“Ten dollars a day is just too much,” said Blake. “Say if you went everyday for three months, that’s $300 a month.”

People who did not get up nice and early to purchase a membership found themselves disappointed.

Brandon Ramey, a Happy Valley-Goose Bay resident who is home from university on summer break, called at 8 a.m. to see if any memberships were available. Like many others, he didn’t make it in time.

“I didn’t think they’d sell out that quick, I really didn’t,” said Ramey.

“I was kind of disappointed, because I’m applying to the RCMP and I need to be fit. So I think having a gym membership would be a little bit of motivation to get up there. But I’m not going up there to spend ten dollars a day on their facilities, that’s outrageous.”

For Ramey, the competition to get a gym membership in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is a far cry from the convenience he’s used to in Fredericton, where he attends St. Thomas University. There, he was his choice of two fitness centres: one on his campus, and the other on the campus of neighbouring University of New Brunswick.

“It’s way better there. Each university campus has their own gym … I actually have a membership to the St. Thomas University gym and the UNB gym,” said Ramey.

Since he is without a gym membership, Ramey plans to exercise outdoors during the summer to stay in shape. But he still hopes that a new fitness centre will open up soon in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, one that’s opened for all residents.

“I think we are in need of a new gym here in Goose Bay. And I hope that one is opened up here soon …”

Nobody from the 5 Wing Fitness Sports and Recreation Centre was available for comment.

Organizations: Department of National Defense, St. Thomas University, University of New Brunswick RCMP

Geographic location: Goose Bay, Happy Valley, Central Labrador North West River Fredericton

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