Should fitness boot camps be charged for using public parks to conduct their classes in?

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The Exercise Association of New Zealand says they aren't against councils charging personal trainers conducting boot camps at public parks, but they want to know the money from the fees is going towards a cause and is not just revenue collecting.

Richard Beddie says setting rules and standards could be the best outcome for everyone.
Source: Breakfast

Christchurch City Council confirmed earlier this week it was looking into charging businesses for commercial use of public parks and gardens with personal trainers in line to receive a fee to use certain areas for exercise sessions.

Richard Beddie from the Exercise Association told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning implementing booking systems and setting standards for the trainers running the boot camps could be options exercised by councils when it comes to creating a fee for the use of public spaces.

"Government at all levels are in the role of encouraging physical activity," Mr Beddie said.

"We're not fundamentally against having a charge but we need to look at what that money is for because if it's simply to say, 'we're going to have a fee' - normally a fee discourages an activity."

Mr Beddie said a standard should be set for trainers running the programmes.

"If you're going to look at having any rules and regulations around this, you need to start looking at the standard of people delivering it.

"Just having simple rules such as do they have first aid? Are they qualified?

He added that creating a booking system where a fee is applied could be the way to please both parties.

"At the moment, there's no booking system so technically speaking, anyone can turn up to a park and use a corner for a boot camp.

"Potentially, having a system where you could say, 'I can actually guarantee that I can use that space at a particular time' - maybe a fee in exchange for that could be a positive thing."

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