Private fitness trainers will no longer be allowed to work at YMCA and YWCA gyms in Winnipeg, prompting some members to say they'll cancel their memberships.
The YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg has sent a letter to all for-profit personal trainers saying they can no longer offer training services at Y facilities by the end of this month.
As of Nov. 4, the Y will use its own employees to provide those services, according to the letter.
That has some members, who are loyal to their personal trainers at the Y, planning to cancel their memberships and follow their trainers wherever they go next.
"I'm with my trainer 100 per cent. So, you know, if he has to go … I am going to have to follow him," said Dennis Walcott, who has lost 50 pounds since he started working with personal trainer Valentine Payne at the South Winnipeg Y eight months ago.
Tracey Reynolds, who also trains with Payne, said, "I'm going to follow Valentine because my personal progress is very important to me and I've had such success that I am willing to go to another facility."
Payne, a certified trainer with more than 30 years of experience, says he charges $20 to $30 an hour, while a YMCA-YWCA trainer will cost about $50.
He said what upsets him is that if YMCA-YWCA clients follow their trainers to other gyms, they will have to pay for new memberships at those facilities.
"That's the sad part. I'm not feeling too good about it," he said.
Kent Paterson, chief executive officer of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg, says having for-profit private trainers on site conflicts with the Y's status as a non-profit organization.
"We accept the fact that some people are very loyal to the trainers and that's because of good and hard work by those trainers," Paterson said.
"But the fact of the matter is we have to be guided by our overall purpose and our overall status and mission as a charity."