Row as seating removed to make way for bikes

Members of user groups outside the cafe at Waves. INLM0912-106gc
Members of user groups outside the cafe at Waves. INLM0912-106gc

A row has erupted after the seating area in the former cafe at Waves Leisure Centre was removed to make room for fitness equipment.

The move annoyed many of the older people who use the complex and feel the social aspect of keeping fit has been taken from them.

On Friday, members of Women’s Young at Heart club were shocked to find the ‘break out’ area was now home to a spinning class.

Two years ago the cafe had been replaced by a vending machine.

Sadie Hamill, chairperson of the keep fit club for older ladies, said: “The cafe has been closed down for a while, but the seats and tables were still there for anyone wanting to sit down and have a coffee and a chat after taking part in any of the activities at Waves.”

Sadie (76) added: “There was a great view of the park and it was something that a lot of people looked forward to after an aerobic work out or a swim.

“I know for a fact it was a very popular area for older people. It wasn’t ideal to get coffee from a machine, but it was better than nothing.

“Now if you want to have a drink after exercising you have to do it ‘on the go’. There’s no longer anywhere to socialise at Waves.”

A spokesperson for Craigavon Council said: “Waves Leisure Complex is committed to offering a wide variety of classes and activities to its users and members. Spinning has proved to be very popular and due to high demand the Complex is providing a designated area for spinning classes in part of the old Café area. At the moment the complex does not have a designated area and spinning classes have to take place in the gym, which is already busy with other users. A partition wall is being erected in the area for the new classes.”