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Public gyms: fit for use?

By Yin Yeping (Global Times)

10:48, October 17, 2012

Two men on exercise equipment in Jing'anzhuang, Chaoyang district Tuesday. (Photo: Li Hao/GT)

Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports said Tuesday that they would introduce more sports fitness equipment in public areas, in accordance with the government national sports fitness plan from 2011 to 2015.

Despite the ambitious plans, residents of several compounds claimed Tuesday that the equipment in their neighborhoods is broken or does not function well due to a lack of basic maintenance.

Yuan Li, a female resident in Longxingyuan compound in Changping district told the Global Times that like other residents there she often uses the popular outdoor gym equipment, but said some of the apparatus is broken.

"They haven't been maintained since I moved in here last year," she said.

Some of the apparatus has defects such as missing handles, and would be dangerous to use, said Yuan.

"I just don't use the broken ones," she said.

A resident of Bolong Jiayuan compound in Fengtai district, Yao Delong, said the gym equipment in his compound is also partly broken due to the lack of maintenance.

"The machines are noisy as they have not been oiled, and some are unstable and shake when you use them," he said. But no one will take responsibility for fixing them, said Yao, as they were installed about seven years ago.

An employee surnamed Yu, who works in the administration office of Tizhijie Sports Group, a Beijing-based company which produces sports fitness equipment, told the Global Times that Tizhijie provides around 50 percent of all the public outdoor sports fitness devices in Beijing.

The annual maintenance work should be conducted by the bureau of sports and the local communities since these facilities are their property and therefore under their management, said Yu.

"We could also do the maintenance but they might need to inform us first," he said, adding that the apparatus has a lifespan of four years, after which it should be replaced.

Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports said Tuesday that they are planning to have all compounds in Beijing equipped with sports fitness facilities by 2015.

In terms of the maintenance, the bureau sent a press release to the Global Times which said that the maintenance work will be conducted by the district sports and administration offices in accordance with the corresponding regulations. But it did not specify what these regulations are.

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