Bangsar school bans exercise camp

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Men and women may be "doing unwanted things" in the dark. That was one of the reasons a secondary school in Bangsar barred an exercise camp from their school field for its late evening workout sessions.

Another reason cited by the school, was that women attending the session wore figure hugging exercise pants, which could be insensitive to surrounding residents.  Yahoo! Malaysia spoke to a school official who confirmed the reasons.

"When the camp holds its session at 7pm, it's also the time for Maghrib prayers, it's not nice for people living in surrounding areas," said a school staff member who declined to be named.

The one-hour workout sessions were run by Daily Muscle Body Transformation Camp from 7pm, three times a week.

Clothes worn by the female participants were tight, which was also not suitable for public viewing, particularly for residents living nearby, added the staff member.

The officer said it was the school's discretion to allow their facilities to be used for these types of activities, adding that an alternative timing was offered to the camp to replace their weekday sessions.

“Instead of having it at 7pm on weekdays, we offered them the use of the field anytime in the morning on Saturdays or Sundays,” added the staff.

The camp's chief exercise officer Noel Chelliah confirmed with Yahoo! Malaysia that an alternative option was offered but clarified that it did not suit the arrangements of the exercise sessions, which were tailored for working professionals. 

"We customise the workouts so working professionals can attend them after office hours on weekdays,” he said.  The camp had posted a statement on its website to explain to its members and new participants about the change in workout location for its Bangsar sessions. 

Noel explained that he received this instruction from the school's new principal who reported for duty in the first week of January.

“I went to meet with the school's principal to settle my usual monthly fees and when I met her, she told me she doesn't want the programme to go on anymore.  I was shocked, and the instruction came so abruptly,” he said, adding that she was insistent and there was no way to challenge her.

When asked if it was too 'dark' to be holding group sessions, he explained: “At that hour of the day, we can still see the participants, otherwise we won't even be running the workout sessions.”  Portable lights are brought to the sessions and are only used if there was a need, he added.

He said previous arrangements with the school went on without a hitch and that they were using the school's field since February 2012.  “We had obtained official correspondence from the school, which gave us permission to use their field for our programme,” he said.

Noel shared that the camp paid a monthly fee of RM350 to the school as a form of rental and contribution to its Parent Teacher Association.

He added that his team had conducted the programme for individuals, high-profile professionals and multinational organisations and has not received any complaints so far.  “In fact, we have been asked if we can organise more exercise camps.”

According to a January 3 post from the camp's Facebook page, the organisers had relocated the Bangsar sessions to a temporary location at a park when they learnt they could no longer use the original location. 


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