Singapore General Election: Issues Concerning The Fitness Professional Community

May 10, 2011

Image of Singapore General Election 2011As the dust settled over the recently concluded General Election in Singapore, where for the first time, we see an unprecedented victory for the Workers’ Party in Aljunied, and a highest-ever number of opposition seats occupied in Parliament since Independence, what remains to be seen is how all the victorious parties are now going to live up to the various promises and manifestos that they have announced during the campaigning period. 

Issues such as housing cost, influx of foreigners, congestion on public transportation, rising cost of living, among others, have all but dominated the headlines in recent weeks.

And most, if not all of the winning parties have already started assuring voters that they would be tackling these issues head-on in the coming days ahead.

In a way, within the Singapore Fitness Professional Community, there is also a general sense of hope that the political changes could also fuel policy changes that would address the various concerns of fitness professionals in Singapore.

Ask any personal fitness trainer, group exercise instructor or wellness coach in Singapore, and the following issues often come up TOPS in their concerns:

1) the emergence of “cheap” or “budget” trainers in Singapore who have no qualms under-cutting the market with ridiculously low rates, and thus seriously affecting the earnings and image of serious fitness professionals.

2) the influx of foreign trainers and non-local coaches into Singapore, thus increasing competition for clients and invariably shrinking the “size of the pie” for everyone concerned.

3) an increasing pool of poorly qualified, semi-trained or even non-trained individuals who are trying to ride the current fitness boom in Singapore, moonlighting themselves as “trainers” or “instructors” in the Singapore Fitness Sector, causing unwanted competition and bringing the industry into disrepute with their unprofessionalism and poor work ethics.

4) the prevalence of high and unfair commission charges imposed by commercial fitness facilities on trainers’ earnings, and the emergence of so-called “fitness agencies” in Singapore who do their utmost to milk maximum profits out from Fitness Pros’ pockets by charging exorbitant commission rates for the referral of prospects/contacts to trainers.

All the above issues are very real to the Singapore Fitness Professional who is working close to the ground.

Realistically, we do not expect the powers-to-be to zoom in specifically on our sector’s concerns. However, there is still a general hope that some government policies or regulations could be drawn up to address these issues – directly or indirectly.

At the moment, it would be good to keep our fingers crossed and hope that any breakthrough within the Singapore political landscape would finally address the concerns of the – small, but vitally important – professional fitness community here.