Yarmouth teen in fitness quest rebuffed by leisure centres

A GREAT Yarmouth teenager says her drive to get fit and healthy is being jeopardised because the town’s leisure centres is refusing her entry.

Yasmin Hall, 13, said staff at the seafront Marina Centre were not letting her into the children’s fitness session on weekdays between 3pm and 5.30pm because she was not able to arrive before 4.45pm.

The Lynn Grove High School pupil launched her fitness drive a couple of months ago after being teased about her weight by other pupils.

However, she often can only attend the last 45 minutes of the session because she cannot get there any earlier due to the school day, which finishes at 3.20pm.

An adult session immediately follows the children’s training, but Yasmin said she would like the children’s session to be extended, possibly to 7pm.

She added: “In a way, they are right because the adults have to have their training, but 5.30pm is not a good time because some of the children finish school late.

“Some schools finish at 2.30pm and they would be able to go, but others including mine do not finish until 3.20pm and they would not be able to get there before the end.”

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However, Yasmin, who lives with her father Dan in Isaacs Road, Cobholm, said she was determined to continue her fitness drive, which involves 50 minutes working out with a private trainer on the cross trainer, treadmills, bikes and rowing machines.

She added: “I was devastated when I was told I could not attend.

“I could feel my new life slipping away from me as I was unable to get into the gym.

“We are often called an overweight society.

“Yet here we are trying to set new standards and be inspirations to others and all we get is a knock in the face as we are refused to take part.”

Edwina Wright, chief executive of Great Yarmouth Sport and Leisure Trust, said the last entry time for juniors was 5pm, but on some schooldays Yasmin had entered the gym as early as 3.47pm.

She added the teenager arrived after 5pm on three occasions between March 20 and April 24, but it was only on the last occasion she was denied entry. She said she would contact Yasmin to clear up any confusion, adding: “Essentially as long as she arrives before 5pm – which she seems to be saying she can do – then she can use the gym as she has been doing.”