P.E.I.'s Eastern School District is increasing the rent for its gymnasiums in response to complaints it was creating unfair competition.
The school board said it was receiving complaints from fitness companies that the rates it was charging U-Fit made it difficult for them to compete.
U-Fit offers classes at Charlottetown's Queen Charlotte School seven days week, as well as twice a week at St. Jean's in Charlottetown, Montague Intermediate, Eliot River Elementary in Cornwall and Gulf Shore Consolidated in North Rustico.
Under changes that take effect Feb. 1 rents will go up, and any single group will be limited to three days a week. U-Fit owner Eirann Rigby doesn't see how the current rules are unfair.
"If there were another fitness company, or any company, or any other user group that wanted to use the gym, it's the same for them. We don't get any special treatment," said Rigby.
Rigby said U-Fit also gives back to the schools, by allowing children 10 and under to attend classes free.
Holly Martin, who started going to U-Fit classes four years ago, is upset her fitness regime could be facing a change.
"The beauty of U-Fit was, five bucks. I was here when I wanted to be, there was no pressure and if I felt like going three times a week, that was great. And I wasn't locked into something," said Martin.
Martin, part of a group that's fighting the rental rule changes, is encouraging other U-Fit clients to contact school board officials.
A Facebook page has been set up to convince the board to leave things the way they are.
I think that the school board has to offer the public a full disclosure. Who is complaining? Who is being displaced? Who cannot get access? What connection if any to any member of the board?
UFIT succeeds because it offers any one the ease of access - the school is close and is "safe". At $5.0 most can afford to come. With these two factors UFIT creates the kind of safe community that we all need if we are to dare to change our lives.
It works - people get the courage to act, then to change and then to help others.
If UFIT is pushed out of the schools, it will have to charge more than most can afford. It will have to offer times and place may not fit.
So who loses? Yes UFIT does - but more importantly so do thousands of people.
Who wins? Who are these other fitness firms that have complained? Surely the board owes the public this information?
My disclosure, I have advised UFIT. I think it is the most successful fitness model I have ever come across.
If you wish to know more about it - here are some links - http://smartpei.typepad.com/robert_patersons_weblog/ufit/