“This place is not suitable for ethnic minorities. You will get ignored the whole time and the staff will be distant and stand offish. While I was there I was ignored by the staff. I was given the dingiest shabby room with no lights and had to scramble around in the dark to get ready. When I asked for a light bulb they put on a light with such low voltage it hardly came on. They also paired me up with another ethnic minority and we were laughing at how we got paired up together. The exercise programme is from 7am to 7pm so any opportunity to have a nap, I would take it. There was a staff who had amputated leg as he had lost it in the army in Afghanistan. He did a talk on how he lost his leg in Afghanistan. I stayed for the first talk but the next day I went to my room and slept. It was nothing political. When I came down, everybody was giving me dirty looks. I don’t know what the talk has got to do with boot camp anyway. On Thursday there was a dinner held and we played a game, a bit like secret santa where we had to make presents for the name chosen. The staff did not include my name. When I sat down the staff with the beard went to the kitchen, got a egg cup and put it in the box for the person who was not included- which was me. On the last day I was extremely light headed. I went to ask the cook if I can have some sugar and she got annoyed, she huffed and puffed while getting a sugar out of the cupboard. I explained that I am feeling very dizzy. Then when we all sat down to get our plans made up, again the staff did everybody’s plan and ignored me. I approached him and he didn’t seem at all interested. It was a very bad experience and wish I didn’t waste my hard earned money on such experience. I know countrysides are racist and this place definitely is. If you are ethnic minority, get ready to be ignored and alone.” Reena Shiva
This was a review we received from a client attending our Fitness Boot Camp via Google+ page and this is our response…
“Dear Reena – although this is not the name you booked your boot camp with us under – why are you going incognito? To label our company as racist is quite disgusting and you have absolutely no right to do so. Clients are paired off in rooms randomly so the fact that you shared a room with another lady of ethnic minority is purely down to chance and the fact that you had both booked a shared room (triple basic – the cheapest option we offer). The other clients had booked private rooms. I can assure you that we do not distribute varying voltage light bulbs due to sex, colour or religion and I am sorry the bulbs provided were not of a voltage to your satisfaction. The accommodation you stayed in is one of the oldest and most beautiful rectories in England and is a period listed property. The rooms are not dingy or shabby. The exercise programme is not from 7am to 7pm. The training schedule each day is full and varied, broken up by three meals, two snacks, nutrition workshops and positive mental attitude talks. There is not a scheduled time during the day for clients to have a siesta, sorry. Reboot is an exercise and fitness boot camp, not an opportunity to catch up on missed sleep. The instructor you mentioned in your review, Neil Heritage, had not lost one leg but had both of his legs blown off – it was not in Afghanistan but Iraq. The presentation that Neil delivers was not about him losing his legs but rather an inspiring talk about his life post injury and his cross Atlantic rowing challenge. This is done to encourage motivation and show that anything is possible with the right frame of mind no matter what barriers are put in front of us. If you had stayed for the presentation you would have known this. Neil is an inspirational individual and has helped many clients with his positive and motivational story – I am sorry you feel this was not appropriate. As for your comment “everybody was giving me dirty looks”, I am afraid that we have no control over the facial expressions of our other clients but it was certainly not something that we noticed. I am sorry but I have no idea what you are referring to when you say that the staff did not include your name for the team building, creative session on the Thursday evening. Throughout the week the nutritionist discussed with the group why we do not eat sugar at the boot camp (perhaps you missed this talk when you were having another nap) so when you demanded sugar it took a while for our staff to find some. I can assure you that our chef would not have “huffed and puffed”, as it is not in her nature. and I’m sure that our hundreds of former clients would agree. When it came to writing your training plan you informed me that you wanted to continue attending the classes you were attending prior to boot camp and that you did not have any need for our three month post boot camp training – therefore there was nothing for me to write down in your training plan. This was your decision, not ours. Throughout the boot camp you isolated yourself from the group and missed integral parts of the week by choosing to remove yourself and take regular naps. I find your narrow-mindedness and stereotypical view that everyone from the countryside is a racist ridiculous and abhorrent. Just so that you know, none of our staff actually live in the Old Rectory – we only rent the accommodation for our boot camps. The majority of our staff, and indeed the other clients on your boot camp, all live in large towns or cities. I am sure from the previous 46 positive reviews we have received here on Google+, and the hundreds of positive reviews that we have received from clients of all races, religion and genders, that future clients will see through YOUR racist views and not allow it to affect the decision to book a fitness boot camp with Reboot.”
Reboot Dorset Fitness Boot Camp UK
Response from a previous client…
“To all those reading these comments, I would like to state that “Reena’s” comments do not in any way reflect reality.
The time I spent with Reboot was one of the most challenging (mentally and physically), rewarding, uplifting and fun weeks – oh and it was also “ethnically diverse”, not that any of us noticed as we were, from the off, treated as one big family. To put it into context, out of the eight in our group, four (myself included) were from “non-white” backgrounds and not once did a single one of us (and the whole group is still in touch) feel degraded, unfairly treated or disregarded because of our ethnicity, our religious views, our sexuality etc.
The week is tough, make no mistake, but it is approached with confidence inspiring techniques, motivational talks and a “you can do it” attitude – Mark, Beverley, Neil et al. frankly do not have time in the week to make negative aspersions over someone’s ethnicity and it is obvious from the few moments of meeting them that this is a team high on integrity and equality. Neil’s involvement is testament to Reboot’s stance on “looking beyond the surface” and from our wide ranging topics of conversation at supper time, it was clear that the team were blind to any kind of “…ism” that there is. One’s differences just were not ever an issue. Full stop.
Referring to Reena’s comments around the accommodation, Reboot is set in a lovely old Rectory and a range of rooms are available, based on how much you choose to pay. None of the rooms, even the cheapest ones, are small or dingy and had the room been so bad, Reena could have asked Mark to see if there were any others available and find out what sort of deals he could have offered her. I originally booked a shared room and before I even saw it, I decided on the day I arrived to see if there were any private rooms with en-suites available and Mark sorted me out with a lovely room for a very reasonable additional sum.
It is a shame that Reena felt so put out in her time with Reboot, but from her post it actually seems as though she was expecting a spa break and was affronted when it was not a week full of cuddles and chocolates. In no way would her ethnicity have played any part in how she was treated – that from an outside perspective looks to be a cheap shot from a disgruntled “house-guest”.
Please do not disregard Reboot on the basis of Reena’s post. Instead choose them and go with a positive mental attitude, the expectation that you will be worked hard and challenged to your limits and go with a real purpose. If you do that, you will enjoy your time immensely, make new friends, and have a wholly different outlook on exercise and healthy eating.
I would note, Reboot has not solicited me to make any comments with regard to Reena’s original post and I have not discussed with them that I intend to write and so as you read this for the first time, so will they.
Liam Sheena (Iraqi origin – in case you were wondering)