Golden Age of Fitness in Timaru

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Published: 21 Oct 2016

Timaru’s seniors are getting active in ever more higher numbers as they take advantage of new classes at Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre tailored just to them.

A group of CBay gym regulars this week celebrate the first birthday of Age Fit a fitness class tailored for older people and designed to keep them fit, active and healthier.

Craig Motley, Timaru District Council Recreation Facilities Manager said they’ve been astonished by the popularity of this class, as well as the aqua gentle classes they run through the week.

“When CBay first opened up we had aqua gentle, which is targeted at the older people, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Monday and Wednesday classes became so full we were turning people away. So then we added a second class on Monday and a second class on Wednesday so we have five aqua gentle classes a week,” he said.

“Then last year to introduce an alternative we added Age Fit  on a Tuesday and Thursday at the same times, and they’ve also proven popular, with about 15-30 people coming to each class.

“The age fit programme is based around good functional exercises that are low impact, and designed for the older adult. The classes aren’t restricted to them, we have a range of ages there who want to stay active just in a more gentle way, we also have some music that’s perhaps more appropriate for the age group.

“As well as the fitness aspect, it’s also a social thing. There’s a core group that come and have a coffee afterwards, so they’re getting their exercise and social interaction in one place.

“I think the whole thing about being a community facility is delivering to all parts of the community. If there’s any section of the community that wants to use our recreation facilities in some way, whether that be aquatic based or fitness based we can work with them to enable that.

Sixty-Six year old Dennis Laplanche has been a regular at the classes since they started a year ago, he says the mixture of exercise and fun is what makes the classes such a success.

“Since starting the classes here I can use my body more, I can twist more, I’ve got much better balance and I’m far more active.

“One of my classmates when he first started was not very mobile at all, whereas now he can jump up and down and do twists and turns and all sorts of things.

“I think people are more aware that if they keep mobile and keep doing things that they will last longer, will be fitter for it and feel better.

“We have a lot of fun in the class, we laugh together we have coffee together and we support each other, which is good.”

For more information about the classes offered at CBay, visit

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021