While fitness and exercise have always had a place at the Kerrisdale Community Centre, it wasn’t until January 1995 that the Exercise Room officially opened. Popular ever since, the facility now sees around 5,000 visits monthly while continuing to welcome patrons of varying ages and fitness levels.
“There’s a lot of variety of people,” says Barry Petkau (below, left), personal trainer and fitness attendant at the centre for almost 15 years. “I have clients who are trying to be soccer stars and then I have clients who are just trying to get up and down off a chair.”
The facility has changed and expanded throughout the years, with COVID bringing about the addition of a games room-turned-stretch-and-core room (below, left). This year saw the installation of new Matrix equipment (below, right), including two treadmills, three ellipticals, one upright bike and two spin bikes. “We have an ample amount of machines and equipment to satisfy any fitness need,” says Petkau, adding that plans are ongoing to improve equipment supply.
Run by the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society (with fitness staff, inspections and machine maintenance overseen by the Vancouver Park Board), the Exercise Room also offers one-on-one and semi-private training. All trainers are BCRPA accredited, and each have different styles and specialties, ranging from yoga to body building.
A Kerrisdale local, Petkau finds his work greatly rewarding. “The most satisfying thing for me is helping people live longer and building quality of life, whatever their goal is, especially as they age.”
Though he has a lot of seniors on his roster, he’s witnessed a big uptick among teens recently. And that’s good to see, concludes Petkau, because no matter your age, “there’s a mental health component to coming to the gym and being with people in that same positive environment.”
Get a jump on your fitness goals this fall and sign up for a free Exercise Room orientation today!