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Cybex first for luxury club
THE luxury Rochestown Park Hotel and Leisure Club has become the first fitness centre in Ireland to install Cybex’s Personal Entertainment Monitors (PEM) to their gym equipment.  
The systems provide personalised viewing screens, allowing members to choose among six TV channels and two music channels to view while training. 
Deirde Counihan, leisure centre manager at Rochestown Park said: “We chose Cybex’s PEM solution to give our customers a variety of entertainment options to make their gym experience more pleasurable. 
“We have different age groups and we would like them to have some variation from the LCD screens, adapted to each individual taste. 
“We have had several upgrades in the equipment since the hotel opened in 1993, as we are always looking to offer something different to our customers.” 
Rochestown Park’s new enlarged facility also includes a dedicated free-weights training area, containing the latest in Cybex plate-loaded resistance equipment and a cable crossover.

Gym ready for 24-hour opening
A POPULAR Dublin gym is to offer 24-hour opening from September, claiming to be the first open-all-hours fitness facility in Ireland. 
The Fitness Dock, operated by Coral Leisure, will initially open around the clock for a trial period of four months, during it’s peak days of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 
Management are hoping the move will ease congested evening periods, and provide the club with a unique selling point to set themselves above the competition. 
The gym currently opens from 6.30am until 10pm Monday to Thursday, closes at 9pm on Friday and opens 10am to 6pm at weekends. 
Paul Hurley, membership consultant at The Fitness Dock, said: “There are a lot of professionals in Dublin who work long hours and haven’t always got time to fit a workout into their schedules. 
“There are also those who are really into their training and like to visit twice a day, so this will make things easier for them. 
“It also enables us to stand out from other gyms in the area – we already have a good reputation and we’re hoping that offering 24 hour opening will enhance this.” 
Paul said that if the concept is successful, they will increase their team to cover night shifts but for now, existing staff will work the extra hours. 
He said: ‘We’re a close-knit team and everyone is supportive of the idea. We asked for volunteers to cover the night shifts and everyone’s been happy to do this. 
“Big chain gyms would struggle to open 24 hours because their staff would refuse to do nights – as they tend to be unhappy in their jobs.” 
To market the new opening times, the gym posted an announcement on an online fitness forum and Paul said they have had an overwhelmingly positive response. 
Nearer to the time they plan to hold a promotional day to advertise the 24-hour opening, and Paul is confident the trial will be a success. 
He added: “The first few months are a test, but I expect the concept to be very popular amongst our existing members, as well as drawing new business in.” 
If the new hours work for The Fitness Dock, the concept may be extended to Coral Leisure’s other sites across the country.

Private gyms hit back over training
PRIVATE sector gyms have hit back after being accused of being uninterested in the development and training of their staff. 
Northern Ireland manager for SkillsActive, Siobhan Weir, pointed out that the big chain gyms did not attend the SkillsActive and CLOA conference held in Northern Ireland in June. 
She said told workout that the David Lloyd Leisure’s and the Fitness First’s of the industry were absent from the event and suggested that this absence was perhaps due to a lack of interest. 
She said: “You don’t reach an end point all gyms have got to be competitive and encourage and retain staff. Private sector gyms have an high rate of staff turnover. Managers have to know what their staff’s aspirations and ambitions are.” 
But Derek Crawford, Divisional Fitness Manager for Fitness First Ireland, has hit back saying that he would have loved to have gone to the event but didn’t get an invite. 
However Siobhan says that they were sent an invite but it could simply be a matter of the invite going to the wrong person. 
She said: “It suggests a common challenge facing SkillsActive - targeting the right person in an organisation can be hit or miss. But I also believe that if managers etc are interested in developing their workforce, they don’t have to wait for us to make the initial contact – all you have to do is Google a few keys words and it signposts you to the SkillsActive web site.” 
An ILAM spokesman suggest that the lack of private sector at the event was probably due to the fact that SkillsActive have stronger links with the Public sector as historically the majority of leisure facilities in the North of Ireland were run by Local Authorities.  
A spokesman for ILAM said: “SkillsActive are a fairly new organisation and while they are increasingly expanding their involvement with the private sector it takes time to develop these relationships.   
“ILAM is working with SkillsActive on a number of European projects and are engaged in discussion with them to increase the involvement of  the private sector in both ILAM and SkillsActive.”
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