The Wokingham Paper

Wokingham council fitness permit charge: Woosehill fitness instructor says the original plan was ‘steep and unfair’

Cameron Johnson
Cameron Johnson from JSC coaching and Woosehill Warriors

Permits now free, but still need to be applied for

A WOOSEHILL fitness instructor has called the proposed charge for outdoor training sessions “steep and unfair”.

Cameron Johnson (right), who runs JSC coaching and weekly Woosehill Warrior bootcamp sessions, said he is glad to see the council has withdrawn the charges.

Announced last Thursday, and axed on Saturday the plans caused public outcry due to the short time-frame and high prices. Now they have been relaunched, but for free.

Speaking ahead of the relaunch, Mr Johnson told Wokingham.Today: “I started running Woosehill Warriors about a month ago at Chestnut Park, before the Government announced that gyms could reopen. We do body weight circuit training outside, exercising in the fresh air together.

“When I first saw the council announcement, I just thought that if I want to continue, I guess I’ll have to pay.

“I can understand why they brought in some charges, it’s more than fair. I’m using council space to run a business,
I’d happily pay my way.

“But to ask for £1,500 upfront is really steep and unfair.

“We’re a struggling industry, nobody has been making money during lockdown. I was lucky to receive help from the Government through the self-employed scheme, but I don’t have that sort of disposable income.

“I’d like to see it reduced by two thirds. I think it’s fair to pay £500 for a license for 10 or more clients, and £150 for one-to-one training.”

Cameron Johnson
The Woosehill Warrior bootcamp

Mr Johnson said he also felt the two-day timeframe was too short.

The council is still asking personal trainers and coaches wanting a permit to have insurance and public liability cover up to £10 million, a DBS background check, relevant qualifications for their sport such as personal training certification at REPs level 3 or equivalent, appropriate risk assessments and first aid plans in place to follow current government Covid-19 guidance — all of which had to be current and up-to-date.

Mr Johnson said: “The point of insurance is good, it’s important for health and safety. But my DBS has run-out, so to get it processed in the two days would have been impossible.

“I may have had to move to a different location until I can sort out all the documents for the permit.”

Mr Johnson said he was glad to see the council withdraw the charges, which means he can keep classes at £5 per person.

The Woosehill Warriors currently train from 6.30pm until 7.15pm on Monday evenings at Chestnut Park.

For more information, search for Johnson Sports & Conditioning on Facebook

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