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11 October 2019

On 22 July, the Kimba Health and Fitness Centre flung open its doors to local residents looking to maintain fitness, get in shape for summer, or simply enjoy some social exercise in a fresh and friendly environment.

The team behind its development, which was helped by the Community Benefit Programme, are hoping for some big changes in the health of the town.

Our intrepid reporter, Maree Barford, donned some leg warmers and a side-ponytail, and went down to chat with Jo Schafer and Gabi Ashmead. Jo and Gabi talked about the centre and how it went from an idea to a community asset.

Jo Schaefer, President

How long have you been the president?

I’ve only been president for three years. It feels just like yesterday!

What is the best part about the Kimba gym?

I think the best thing about it is the wide range of ages that can access the gym. It really has been designed so that anyone can join in and improve their fitness.

As an example, our oldest member is 90 years old. Now, I’m not sure if this is right, but I think youngest is 14… so that’s pretty special. As they say, “Healthy body, healthy mind!”

How often do you go?

Honestly, I don’t go as much as I’d like. But I do try to go on a weekly basis with friends. It really does make exercise more enjoyable when there is a social aspect. What a lot of people don’t realise is exercise is extremely good for mental as well as physical health. 

I’m trying to convince John to start doing a session as well. We want more men down here, so if any boys reading are thinking about joining, you’d be more than welcome!

Gabi Ashmead, Personal Trainer and Committee member

How long have you been a personal trainer?

I’ve been a PT since December 2013. I love fitness and helping people. Also, I am fascinated by how the body works and moves. When you look closely you can see we are completely connected - from head to toe.

Who was the driving force behind the project?

The entire Gym Committee were the driving force! We wanted a fresh space that people felt motivated to visit and exercise in.

What’s the funniest thing that has happened at the gym?

The funniest? Hmm … there’s not been a stand out funny moment, but we always have a good laugh in the gym! It really helps everyone get through the last tough set!

Community benefits

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Community Benefit Programme contributed $26,673 for the Kimba Health and Fitness Centre facility upgrade.

Read more

Read more about community benefits for hosting the facility

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