I am writing to address the present state of the Fort Frances Sportsplex.
I have been using gyms/sports complexes regularly for about 15 years now, have done some personal training, and worked as an instructor at a sports complex in Thunder Bay for about three years.
I have been an active member of the Sportsplex here for about one-and-a-half years now. On average, I use the facility about 52 weeks a year, anywhere from three to 10 times per week, and consider myself a “good member.” I use the weight room most frequently, but also play squash occasionally and use the treadmills during the winter months.
I clean up after myself, meaning I put away any equipment I have used and clean up any mess I may have made. I report any broken equipment or equipment in need of repairs, and any misuse of the facility or its equipment, to the management. I have always gotten along well, I think, with the staff and management of the Sportsplex.
But I believe the state of the Sportsplex is a disgrace in that certain areas are quite filthy, it is poorly ventilated, there is a lack of staff monitoring the weight room, most of the equipment is “antiquated,” there is dirt and dust on the floors and under and around the equipment, (which has been there for many, many weeks), and regular morning users must put away the equipment before they can begin their workouts.
The men’s shower area recently had the rubber mats removed to provide easier cleaning. The shower/locker room area has never been really kept up to begin with, even in the winter. Other sports facilities do not seem to have a problem doing so, even with a higher membership level. I ask you, “What is the problem?”
Compared to gyms and sports complexes in other communities, Fort Frances falls far, far behind in almost all areas. It seems as though the “powers that be” cater to those who purchase only four- or six-month memberships to play squash and utilize the pool area, ignoring the needs of those of us who use the facility year-round and would like to see more money spent on newer, “up-to-date” equipment in the gym and aerobics room.
These rooms need to be monitored regularly, and the rules enforced with consequences for those who abuse the facility.
We have been promised air conditioning for the weight room area for about a year now. For what reason when they are not willing to spend the money on newer, up-to-date equipment that has the potential to attract more members?
I just recently purchased a yearly membership at the Barwick Rec. Centre. The cost? $40 a year. They have a full range of up-to-date equipment that is well-maintained. The Fort Frances Sportsplex? $29.33 per month, with sorely out-dated equipment which is not really maintained at all. You figure it out!
I am a homeowner in Fort Frances. My wife and I are both employed in the mental health field and are taxpayers in this community. We would like to see some of our money from taxes and membership fees go towards upgrading our only sports facility.
Frank Fraser SSW
935 Christie Ave. N.