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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People: Ian Pickles and Imogen Buxton-Pickles

FOUNDERS OF IMOVES

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 6
The founders are passionate about iMoves
The founders are passionate about iMoves
We want to provide an intervention at primary school to get kids active and healthy.

What is iMoves?
It’s an easy solution for teachers to deliver PE and dance in schools. Package licences are sold to schools, which allow teachers to access resources through an online portal. We provide everything teachers need to deliver a range of engaging activity and PE lessons: interactive demonstration videos, curriculum based lesson plans, music, flashcards and a range of assessment tools.

Our aim is to get children active every day with lessons and activities that engage them. We’re not teaching them to chasse or pirouette, but just some basic moves, and if they really like it they can go on to join a club.

What’s your mission?
We want to provide an intervention at primary school to get kids active and healthy. Our pitch at the ukactive Active Lab Live centred around a character called John: at five-years-old he was fit and active, but by 11 was overweight, because he had done his two hours a week of PE, but nothing else. Neither his parents or teachers had the confidence, or ideas, to get him active every day. By 25, he is overweight, embarrassed to join a gym and doesn’t know where to start with losing weight and getting active. We want to stop all the Johns from happening.

How did iMoves come about?
I [Imogen] have spent all my career in fitness and dance, working in schools to help them offer better quality lessons and then they started to ask for resources to do the lessons when I wasn’t there. I realised this was a business opportunity, so started to produce DVDs and put content on line. Both the kids and teachers loved the resources we produced and it’s built from there.
Lots of teachers lack the confidence and training to deliver exercise and dance classes themselves, so this was meeting a need. Many of the existing resources being used were very old fashioned and didn’t engage the children – such as dance that entailed pretending to be a tree. It was death by dance!

The business gained momentum two years ago, when schools started asking for resources for PE in general and gymnastics, so we developed the package to include gymnastics, Pilates, physical literacy, athletics and ball skills. Ian left his career in brand strategy and came on board as business manager.

What have you achieved?
We’re a small company with a great concept. Already we have 500 schools around the UK using iMoves. We’ve just won ukactive’s ActiveLab, which has taken us to a new level. In the last two years we’ve taken on staff and now have eight presenters around the country.

We’re constantly evolving to offer more programmes. For example, to engage boys we have programmes that include football, combat moves and war dances to music. At the other end of the spectrum, we offer a range of mindfulness lessons and Pilates to funky music.

What about future plans?
Research shows that an active child is more academic with grades up to 13 per cent higher. So, in September, we’ll be launching Active Schools, which offers 30 minutes of activity outside of PE and can be linked with different subjects. We’ll also team up with ukactive on National Fitness Day as the digital platform for schools, trying to get 10,000 schools to be active for 10 minutes at 10am.

Next year, we’ll be launching Active Home, to encourage children to carry on the work they’ve been doing at school when they go home.

Buxton-Pickles has a 
background in fitness and 
dance, and has worked in schools
Buxton-Pickles has a background in fitness and dance, and has worked in schools
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The founders of iMoves and winners of ukactive's ActiveLab competition tell us how they're providing PE and dance packages to schools
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