He made a name for himself as one of the star judges on The Biggest Loser, but Steve “Commando” Willis is now facing major backlash for promoting a fitness empire that is being branded as a joke and a waste of money.
Steve is the ambassador for the Sage Institute of Fitness and features in its TV ads and public events. While the institutes claims to be a world-class facility, the feedback from its students tells another story.
“The facilities are absolutely shithouse,” said James Dixon, a 33-year-old fitness coaching student who was attracted to the college’s Oakleigh campus on the promise of a scholarship, according to Fairfax.
“They have all these pieces of equipment and it doesn’t even compare to the PCYC. If you were paying for your membership at a gym you would ask for your money back. They are expecting students to come out and say I learnt at Sage. It is a joke.”
It’s been revealed that the college also has no dedicated gym facilities and asks students to install their own classroom walls in empty office areas all the while charging them $18,000 year in student fees.
James also said he was tricked into thinking he had received a scholarship to the college only to be asked to pay up when he went to fill out his paperwork.
“They told me they had one scholarship available for me. I thought that was amazing, I’d never had anything like that,” he said.
“When I got to the actual campus they said I need to fill out a VET-FEE Help form. What they meant by scholarship was that they credit $500 off the cost and you get a $15,000 enrolment.”
On top of that, it appears the courses at the college are so terrible, Service Skills Australia has refused to endorse it and he national vocational education regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, has demanded the college cancel the course when its accreditation expires next June.
Despite all the backlash, Commando Steve is heavily promoting the institute both on TV and online and Sage is yet to apologise to students.