Community rallies to keep gym open

November 29, 2017

Finley Community Gym committee members (from left) Karen Daniel, Sam Armer, Jo Kelly, Kim McCraw, Paul Cicolini, Elyse Price, Gaye Maxwell and Matt Hannan.

A group of volunteers is taking on the considerable task of running the Finley HQ Gym.

Business owner Ryan Locke is moving away from the area and there are community members who don’t want to see the gym close.

The volunteers took it upon themselves to form a committee and create the not-for-profit Finley Community Gym.

The committee has agreed to buy the equipment and lease the Murray St property from Mr Locke.

Committee member Karen Daniel says it’s important to maintain the gym in Finley.

‘‘Ryan did a great job of building it up and we believe it’s significant for Finley to have a gym.

‘‘We’re a very sports based town but there will be some people out there who might want to train or work out individually, which this and this facilitates.

‘‘There is a huge diversity of people that work out and the gym user friendly. It’s important we don’t lose another business in Finley,’’ she said.

The Finley Community Gym has to raise $50,000 each year to keep running, according to the committee, which has sent out letters asking for financial support.

Committee member Elyse Price says the gym is an ‘‘extremely important asset’’ for the town.

‘‘There are many benefits the gym can offer our local community, all of which can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health which we feel are important issues within our tight knit rural community.

‘‘We believe it would have a negative impact on the community and our health system if it was to shut down.’’

Mrs Price said the gym had helped her own personal health and wellbeing.

‘‘Since joining the gym I feel more energised.’’

Berrigan Shire Mayor and gym committee member Matt Hannan is encouraging residents to support the gym volunteers.

‘‘We have a dedicated group of volunteers who want the gym and it will stay open if it’s supported by the community,’’ Cr Hannan said.

While not finalised, the committee expects adult memberships will cost $520 and student membership $260 for the year.

The committee hopes to have the gym open seven days per week from January 1 and fundraisers are also expected to be held in 2018.

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