AussieFIT Offers Teens Free Summer Memberships
Starting May 15th, 2014, AussieFIT’s two locations in Columbus, Ohio, will open its doors to teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 for free workouts.
Teens interested in the program must first tour the club with a parent. The only restrictions are that teenagers finish their workouts by 4 p.m., and be out the door by 5 p.m., to avoid peak hours. Otherwise, registered teens receive the same treatment and access as adult members.
Geoff Dyer, the founder of AussieFIT, began the tradition in 2005 at Lifestyle Family Fitness. He carried the program over to AussieFIT’s two locations, which opened in 2011.
As a former overweight teen, the program is immensely personal to Dyer. “At 16, 17 and 18, I weighed 248 pounds,” recalled Dyer. “So first hand, I know what it’s like to have that self esteem issue from being overweight.”
Like other cities, Columbus is struggling to boast healthy and fit citizens. According to the most recent data available from the CDC, Ohio has the 12th highest rate of diabetes in the nation.
According to Dyer, around 700 teens register for free memberships each year, and about 500 end up making use of the opportunity. “It’s a great way to give back to the community and educate teens on the importance of health and fitness,” said Dyer.
Dyer is continually impressed by the positive feedback his clubs have received as a result of the program. “It’s absolutely amazing how the community embraces it,” he said. In addition to local press, Dr. Oz, a popular daytime TV show personality, has endorsed the program.
As a result, he encouraged other clubs to implement something similar. “It’s a great way to get hundreds of teens and hundreds of parents to tour your club,” he said. “Clubs need to stand for something in their communities, and teenage inactivity is a problem – what better way to counteract it than to open your doors?”
The program runs May 15 through August 15, 2014.
By Rachel Zabonick