Army to pay to use Gym facilities - Is this a wind up!!!


Credit to ArmyNet and Soldier Mag for this.

I cannot believe this, its madness!!!


I was posted from Andover to Abbey Wood and in my first week went to the gym for an induction lesson. I was refused access and told I would have to pay up first to become a member.

After a small laugh I realised they were serious and explained that I was in the middle of a rehab programme. It made no difference. The Abbey Wood MoD site is a civilian site with a civilian gym – so, no membership fee, no access.

Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel are funded to use it, but Army people get nothing. We have to pay but can’t claim it back.
I have been told that this has long been the situation and that “someone is looking into it”. I have contacted my local rehab unit and they tell me that, fit or not, I should have access to the gym. Can someone please tell me why I should now pay to get fit? – WO2, name and address supplied.

Lt Col Ian Davidson, Land Forces Training, responds:

Army personnel are expected to maintain fitness levels even when posted to non-military or isolated units, which may not have convenient gym facilities.

The level of fitness required in specific locations is set out in MATT 2, which states that personnel under 50 when attached or posted to a headquarters unit such as Abbey Wood are required to pass a PFT twice a year, subject to their medical category, which the WO does not make clear in his letter.
To achieve it, an individual needs only sports kit and a place to run and complete press-ups and sit-ups. Access to a full gym facility is not a requirement. While we accept it would be preferable for everyone to have access to a gym, there is currently no funding for it across the Army.

The lack of a coherent gym franchise across the UK, and the number and isolation of MoD establishments, means the MoD cannot seek the best terms on a Service-wide basis. In most areas it would have to pay the market rate of £400 to £600 a year. Abbey Wood is already subsidised and membership fees are £40 a year or £3.30 a month.

The other Services have different schemes. The RAF funds membership in full while the Navy contributes up to £50 a head a year from non-public funds, providing the individual is a member of the Royal Navy Sports Lottery.

The WO says he is in a rehab programme to get him back to full fitness and this may place a different perspective on his need for gym facilities. He should speak to his medical officer to determine his exact needs and then to the Divisional SO2 physical trainer to seek further advice as to how this extra requirement may best be achieved.

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