Writing

Re-creation Health Club

A gym catering to 2600 members from teens to 40 year olds, and offering dancing, boxing and kids’ activities as well as the usual gym classes and weights, needs floors that can take a battering and come up shining.

That’s the case with the newly opened Re-Creation Health Club in the rapidly-growing new outer Melbourne suburb of Caroline Springs.Opened in December 2008, the gym already has 2600 members and growing, with a strong emphasis on children and teens.

Owner Robert Rapa says the gym caters to a young demographic – Caroline Springs is less than 10 years old, and most of the gym members are under 40.

“We focus on children and young people,” he says. “We run children’s and teens’ fitness classes, and host birthday parties at the weekends featuring kids’ activities.”

The gym also has plenty of healthy activities for adults – from the high energy, high impact of cardio boxing to the gentle stretches and breathing techniques of yoga. Body Attack, Body Pump, Body Combat, Body Step, Body Balance, Cardio Boxing, Aerobics, and of course the circuit of weight machines, are all on offer.

Because of the suburb’ s younger demographic, Robert and his partner, Darren Rapa, decided on a bright contemporary look to the gym, and commissioned Jodie Russ, of Red Frog Design for the interior décor.

They also wanted to emphasise the facility’s difference from most other gyms and health clubs. Unlike run of the mill gyms, which are usually bland off-white spaces, lit mainly by fluorescent lights and with few or no windows, Re-Creation Caroline Springs has large windows on either side of the long, modern building, showcasing the stunning views.

“We have views all round to the city on one side and spectacular views over the landscape on the other side,” Robert says.

Jodie chose bright feature colours to focus on the types of activity and to enhance the energy levels of each area, or in the case of the yoga room, to provide calm and balance.

She also specified the floor coverings, recommending Polyflor products for the areas getting the most punishing use each day.

The brand new building has 3100 square metres of floor space. More than a third – 1180 square metres – is finished with Polyflor specialised products. Rather than add more colour, Jodie selected timber-look products, providing a softer, warmer look, without diminishing the strong focus of the feature wall in each room.

In the entrance area, reception and café and the walkways, she specified Polyflor Camaro Studioflor Wood, a polished floorboard style vinyl in red teak, which harmonised well with the vivid red of the reception area and the orange feature wall of the café, as well as the cooler cucumber green in the child minding room.

Suitable for all residential areas and moderate commercial interior use, the polyurethane treated vinyl flooring can be accented with co-ordinating borders, feature and design strips.

While Camaro Studioflor Wood is the perfect flooring for the entrance, relaxing areas and walkways, it’s not designed to take the beating a kickboxing class would give it. For the group fitness rooms, the boxing studio and the dance studio, Jodie specified Polyflor Sport67, heavy-duty, flexible vinyl sheet sports flooring.

In keeping with the rest of the décor, she chose the wood plank look, Maple, in this specialist sports flooring. Polyflor Sport is recommended for use in school and local authority sports
halls, gymnasiums and leisure centres where a degree of resilience underfoot and long life under heavy traffic are needed.

Sport67 is 6.7mm thick, has high levels of slip resistance and abrasion resistance, with good shock absorption and ball rebound properties. The maple plank effect contrasted with the strong blue featured in the group exercise room and harmonised with the soft yellow in the boxing studio.

Robert Rapa was enthusiastic about the performance of the Polyflor Sport67. “Because it has a soft rubber underlay, it’s very good for jumping around on. There’s no risk of anyone hurting themselves, no fear of anyone tearing hamstrings.”

He was also impressed by the flooring’s guarantee of 10 years. “That’s a really good guarantee. These floors really cop a beating,” he says. “They really get hammered. Yet they only need buffing once a week.”

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