UPEI sport centre renovates to keep pace with competition

UPEI is holding an open house this weekend to show off changes at the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre.

The university has converted a little-used racquetball court into two levels of fitness studios. The lower level will be for fitness classes and the upper level holds stationary bicycles and interval training equipment.

Athletics and recreation director Chris Huggan said the centre has felt the impact of the opening of GoodLife Fitness in Charlottetown, losing about 10 per cent of its community members. The new fitness centre will provide a better atmosphere for fitness classes, he said, which used to be held in the large field house.

"It wasn't a very private setting. Fitness is something where you're putting your body into all sorts of different positions and sometimes you just don't want anyone to be there," said Huggan.

'We also have to change'

Fitness classes also had to be cancelled when the field house was being used for exams or convocation. The new space will allow classes to be uninterrupted through the year.

"It's definitely taken a hit," said Huggan of the new competition in town, "but that's part of the reason why we also have to change what we're doing a little bit, and these fitness studios make us more attractive."

Half of the cost of the renovation, which cost under $120,000, was picked up by the federal government.

Huggan said the centre currently has about 650 community members, and is looking to attract more with its open house.

The open house will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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