A multiple sclerosis sufferer has expressed anger and dismay over the removal of exercise equipment for the disabled during the revamp of Brackley Leisure Centre.
Graham Teager, 64, says using the equipment regularly has been the only thing that has helped the deterioration in his condition, secondary progressing multiple sclerosis.
“There is no magic cure. All medical advice, as I gradually lost the use of one leg, suffered loss of control of one hand and other functions and suffered great pain, has been to keep active,” he said.
“Brackley Leisure Centre provided a small amount of equipment which really helped. A hand bike attached to pedals helped prevent muscle wastage and allowed me gain strength to help me to propel my wheelchair. A wall mounted rowing machine and six American machines helped me also helped exercise upper body muscles.”
Mr Teager’s gym membership was subsidised for six months since when he has paid a membership fee.
“You can imagine my surprise and utter depression and annoyance when today I found the new Brackley Sports Centre Management, Legacy Leisure in partnership with SNDC have removed all suitable equipment. The Legacy mission statement which talks of ‘access to activities regardless of physical ability’. By ripping out the only equipment I and others like me need I cannot see how this meets with these aims. We are such a minority we don’t seem to count.”
A spokesman for South Northants Council said: “Brackley Leisure Centre has recently benefited from a complete gym equipment replacement programme which included Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) equipment as part of the leisure contract transfer to Parkwood Leisure, and this is currently an on-going process.
“The IFI equipment enables both disabled and non-disabled people to benefit from a full body, cardiovascular and resistance-based workout.
“It is our aim to provide facilities that benefit the whole community and with our partners Parkwood Leisure we are committed to making health and fitness accessible to all, and gym instructors are on hand to show anyone how to get the best out of the equipment available.
“If Mr Teager believes this is not the case, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss his individual needs.”