History: in the beginning

Summerland Review Article, September 2013:

“As the founding members explain it, “We just created a place that we wanted to come to ourselves.” Since the “soft opening” in June, the Summerland Women’s Fitness facility has steadily gained members.   It offers a circuit of 12 hydraulic resistance machines, a treadmill, an exercise bicycle, a vibration machine, hoops, balls, weights and a stretching area. The members find that the ability to exercise at their own level in friendly, comfortable surroundings works to help them keep up a fitness routine.

This centre began when a previous women’s only exercise facility closed in Summerland. A group of members met and decided to open a new facility to continue their health and fitness goals. It took four months of meetings, planning, researching and sometimes just sheer physical labour for a core group of women to achieve their goals. Rather than a business, the founding directors (Linda Lumsden, Pat Mayne, Carole Patane, Debbie Farrow, Katherine Beattie, and Betty-Ann Xenis) incorporated a non-profit society. The group found equipment at an auction, and then went looking for a place to rent. A former dance studio at the Summerfair Mall met the group’s needs, and the directors spent a very busy week or two cleaning, painting, and setting up their new space. At the moment, the facility is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm and Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Starting October 21, it will be open Monday and Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. and Saturdays from 8:00 – 10:00 am. The founding members take turns overseeing the place when it’s open on a volunteer basis, but hope to be able to hire a part-time receptionist soon.

The Summerland Women’s Fitness Centre has its official grand opening on Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at its facility in the Summerfair Mall on Prairie Valley Road. Everyone is welcome to come and take tour, enter the door prize draw and have refreshments. The members encourage all women to come on down and see how easy starting an exercise program can be.”

November 2014:

One year later, we’re still going strong.  We’ve added some new equipment over the year, such as a new exercise bike, a stair stepper, and an elliptical machine.   We’ve expanded to use all of our space (we started out with half of it but that was never enough!).  We are a community of women, not just attendees at a facility.  We are proud that we can accommodate our members’ different fitness needs and are always aware of making all members feel welcome and valued.   We’re always looking for ways to improve and welcome suggestions!  Our goal is still to hire a paid staff member one of these days, but in the meantime, we appreciate all our volunteer receptionists!