Furious Goodlife Health Club members hope petition will overturn decision to scrap crèches

Outraged gym-goers support a petition to save crèches at one of Australia’s largest fitness chains.

Goodlife Health Clubs announced last week that it would no longer be able to babysit customers’ children when they go to the gym from 3 July.

Furious Goodlife Health Club members hope petition will overturn decision to scrap crèches

A post on the Goodlife Health Clubs’ social media page stated that the decision was made “with a heavy heart” due to a 50-60 percent drop in usage due to COVID-19.

But the backlash immediately began, with some members threatening to cancel their membership and others warning that it could affect maternal mental health.

A petition on change.org seeking to reverse the decision has garnered more than 3,700 signatures in less than a week.

There are over 85 Goodlife Health Clubs across Australia with over 295,000 members.

Gym member Kym McMahon, who started the petition, said she suffered from extreme postpartum depression with her first child because she had no outlet for her physical and mental health.

But having joined Goodlife after the birth of her second child, it had made an incredible difference.

“To be able to go to a gym where I can comfortably leave my baby with caregivers she loves is pure gold. We don’t have any family close by, so we don’t have help available for childcare while we go to the gym,” she wrote on the petition page.

“Closing all the crèches in Australia will be such a loss, not only for thousands of parents but also for hundreds of carers who will lose their jobs.”

Camera IconGoodlife Health Club will cancel childcare from July 3. Credit: delivered.

Shortly after news broke that the crèches would be closed, mother Lisa Pellegrini-Moran of Perth told PerthNow that she feared many other parents would have no choice but to travel longer and find an alternative gym.

“It’s a bit of a shame,” she said.

“I’m lucky because my kids will be in-kind next year, but many other moms still have young kids and need the service to get to the gym.”

Ms. Pellegrini-Moran described the gym as her “saving grace” as she tried to juggle young children with a husband who was working away.

She said she was “devastated” to new moms.

A statement from Goodlife said the decision to close the nursery was difficult.

“As we now move out of the acute phase of the pandemic, recovering from COVID-19 remains a key challenge for everyone in the health club industry,” it said.

“As a company, we have seen marked changes in member behavior since early 2020, and we must adapt to the changing needs of our members.

“Unfortunately, one of the obvious changes in member behavior has been a drastic reduction in the use of our childminder service, which has decreased by 50%-60% from pre-COVID levels, making the service unsustainable.

“This was a very difficult decision for the company. We are working closely together to provide support and relocation opportunities for our affected team members and to support our members in re-adjusting their routines.”

Lori J. Kile
I love to write and create. I love photography, design, travel and art. I am a full time freelance writer and photographer.I am very excited to be creating new content and opportunities for my readers.