Free entry for seniors a great way to stay healthy

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
South West Sports Centre instructors Jackie Campen and Emma Hollins keep Des Parkinson working hard.
Camera IconSouth West Sports Centre instructors Jackie Campen and Emma Hollins keep Des Parkinson working hard. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

A regular elderly user of the South West Sports Centre is encouraging seniors to take advantage of free entry for the over 80s.

Des Parkinson has been a member at the centre for about 30 years, but it was the death of his beloved wife Katie three years ago that sparked his need to work out more often.

“I was sick of looking in the mirror and thinking I need to do something,” the 83-year-old said.

“It’s a great way to wake up in the morning and something to look forward to.”

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Bunbury City Council last week included a new incentive for seniors as part of its 2018-19 fees and charges schedule.

People aged 80 years and over are eligible for free membership and entry to the centre while fitness enthusiasts aged 75 years and over can enjoy a 50 per cent discount.

Mr Parkinson visits the centre six days a week, doing everything from RPM to yoga and swimming.

“It’s better than staying home and looking at myself in the mirror,” Mr Parkinson said.

“The people here are great, it’s a very social environment and the staff are absolutely marvellous.

“I think the free membership is a wonderful idea and will encourage lots of seniors to take up the offer.

“I would encourage fellow seniors to give the water aerobics and water walking a go.”

Mayor Gary Brennan said the initiative was about focusing on the health and wellbeing of Bunbury’s residents.

“It’s a very tangible way the city is assisting that aspiration by encouraging our older cohort to go to the sports centre, as many do now,” Mr Brennan said.

The fees and charges will come into effect from July 1 after a one month advertisement period.

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