Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has reduced the age restriction for users at its fitness suites in a bid to get more people active.
The move, which came into effect on April 1, allows for teenagers aged 14 and 15 to use cardiovascular machines at the five gyms across the borough.
Commenting on the reduction a council spokesperson said: “This decision was made following extensive customer feedback requesting the age reduction, analysis of operations of other private and public sector organisations relating to this matter, and consultation with council staff.
“The council’s aim is to get more people, more active, more often and by reducing the age restrictions to the fitness suites across the borough allows more families to exercise together where previously they couldn’t.
“To ensure the change in age restriction would not impact the safety and service of all users, the operating procedures were amended for the fitness suites with the key points being that parents and guardians must be in attendance within the fitness suite with children aged 14 and 15 and as with all users, the 14/15 age group receive an induction of the fitness suite which includes cardiovascular machines only.”
The spokesperson for the local authority added: “There is no requirement to increase the number of fitness instructors to supervise the 14/15 year olds.
“After an initial induction from the fitness instructors it is the parent’s responsibility to supervise these age groups.
“The fitness instructors will be on hand to offer guidance and advice on a safe and effective exercise routine.
“There is no requirement to introduce more cardio machines into the gyms to cope with an increase is usage from this age group.
“The amendment to age restriction has been in operation since April 1 and no capacity issues have been reported, this will remain under constant review.”