Wokingham Borough Council's new Outdoor Fitness Training Permit gives personal trainers and coaches the freedom to move their individual and group sessions outside into our council-managed parks where social distancing is easier. The permits are free and can be applied for here.
The permit aims to protect residents from unqualified and uninsured ‘trainers’. Residents need to be able to use public open space to enjoy and benefit from fitness training. The permit will ensure residents will be safeguarded as part of the Council's legal health and safety responsibilities for those using public land.
“Whilst some people are still understandably cautious about returning to inside gyms, our parks are now being used far more for exercise led by professional trainers. But we have a duty of care to the general public to protect them when using our open spaces. This is why the permit is needed,” said Cllr John Kaiser, deputy leader of the council.
“This permit gives personal trainers and coaches a different option of venue for their clients. We’ve an abundance of fantastic parks in our borough which are perfect locations to have fun, get fit, and boost physical and mental wellbeing during these tough times. This being so, we must also make sure it’s safe for everyone.”
.Why are permits needed?
WBC issue permits to operators to ensure that:
- Ability to access and use public open space is preserved for all visitors
- Park visitors can benefit from, enjoy and engage in fitness training in a variety of outdoor environments
- Fitness and similar operators hold appropriate qualifications (based on industry best practice), and are fully insured and hold liability for participants’ safety (£10 million)
- Appropriate risk assessments including Covid-19 and first aid plans have been conducted by the operator and shared with the Sport and Leisure department
The Council will carry out the following checks before a Trainer can be fully certified:
- Background checks known as the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – trainers must supply relevant copies of individual checks if working with children and vulnerable adults
- Qualifications - copies of Personal Training certification at REPs level 3 or equivalent
- Insurance and public liability - copies of individual insurance and public liability for the duration of the period the permit has been issued for to the value of £10 million
- Risk assessment - evidence that all risks have been considered should be included in a risk assessment to mitigate potential risk
- Emergency / first aid plan - evidence that a first aid plan is in place in the event that any accidents occur during the session