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Health Club Management

Health Club Management



Gladstone’s Learn2 software has revolutionised course management, with benefits for both customers and the bottom line

Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 10
Learn2 has saved both time and money at Active Northumberland
Learn2 has saved both time and money at Active Northumberland

From learn-to-swim schemes to football or tennis coaching, course programming is the bread-and-butter of any successful sport and leisure business.

As most operators will tell you, the challenges of administering and co-ordinating these schemes can stretch even the most efficient management teams to their limit. It’s not only the logistical burden of keeping track of multiple joiners, leavers and movers; it’s also trying to keep parents and participants up to date with their progress, which impacts greatly on retention.

But thanks to Gladstone’s Learn2 course management tool, many operators are now meeting these challenges much more effectively.

Rather than requiring receptionists to send out re-enrolment letters, Learn2 automatically emails and/or texts parents to let them know when their child is ready to move up to the next class or needs to pay for the next set of lessons. It then further reduces the pressure on your staff by allowing customers to re-enrol their child themselves using the internet-based Home Portal.

Instead of paper-based registers and competency check sheets, teachers work with a portable, waterproof, touch-screen device. This allows them to take registers and make real-time assessments of children during the lesson itself, drastically reducing the admin burden. And because the device connects and syncs wirelessly with Home Portal, over a secure wireless network, it’s easy for parents to stay up to date with their child’s progress online.

Also built into Learn2 is a tailored reporting feature, allowing you to access reports on your joiners, leavers, class movements and class occupancy, set against monthly targets and refined by date, centre, course or teacher.

“We developed Learn2 to simplify the administration process for swim-schools, which can often become very complicated and time-consuming,” says Tom Withers, Gladstone’s sales and marketing director.

“However, it’s been so successful that a number of leisure operators are now using Learn2 to manage dryside courses, as well as to increase revenues.”

John Richardson,

Head of Community Services,

North West Leicestershire District Council

In October 2014, we launched Gladstone’s Learn2 course management tool at our two leisure centres as part of a wider overhaul of our learn-to-swim scheme.

One of the main advantages of Learn2 is that together with the ASA National Plan, which we introduced simultaneously, it enables children to be moved up a class as soon as they are ready. Under the old system a child would have to wait until a dedicated assessment week before being identified as ready to move. Swim co-ordinators would then allocate them a space in an appropriate class, before giving the parent a call or handing them a move slip. If parents were hard to get hold of, or did not want the allocated day or time, this often led to delays – and with swim co-ordinators not always being available, the process could become very frantic.

With Learn2 all of this is avoided. Now parents get an automated email when their child is ready to move, and can go onto Home Portal to choose a class themselves. As well as being easier for parents, it significantly reduces the number of calls we get on this topic, and it’s much easier to keep track of availability in classes. Our swim co-ordinators now spend around 23 per cent less time dealing with class movements, allowing them to concentrate on signing up new swimmers. As a result, we’ve been able to add new classes and have increased our number of swimmers by 15 per cent in the past nine months.

Another problem with the old system was that parents often commented that they did not know how their children were doing in class.

With Learn2 the swimming instructors record attainment using portable poolside devices, which are linked into Home Portal, meaning parents can now track their children’s progress at their leisure.

We also use the system to keep a more regular record of why children leave, so we can deal with any underlying issues promptly.

Overall, Learn2 has significantly reduced the administration burden of managing our swim scheme, as well as being popular with parents.

“We’ve increased our number of swimmers by 15 per cent”

Colin Winfield,

Area Manager South East Northumberland,

Active Northumberland

Active Northumberland uses a wide range of Gladstone products across its 18 sites, which range from dual-use leisure facilities to a disabled riding centre.

We’ve been very impressed with Learn2. We brought it in last September as part of a complete overhaul of our swim development programme, including the introduction of 46 weeks of lessons, continuous assessment and direct debit payments, and it is has already helped make the process much more efficient. The fact that Learn2 is linked to Plus2 has made it much easier to migrate people to direct debit, and the system is designed to support continuous assessment.

It’s also resulted in significant time and cost savings. Thanks to features such as the active waiting list and automated movement alerts it’s now simpler to move participants around. This means we no longer need to hold re-enrolment days, which included putting an extra receptionist on shift and the swim coordinator working extra hours. The system also enables reception to deal with enquiries and add people to the programme.

Our swim instructors are now confidently using the poolside devices; 74 per cent of participants are registered on Home Portal and 56 per cent are actively using it; and, overall, there is much less admin and paperwork for everyone. We will be looking to roll out the product to our dryside courses in the future.

“Learn2 has resulted in significant time and cost savings”

A number of operators are now using Learn2 to manage their dryside courses / PHOTO:
A number of operators are now using Learn2 to manage their dryside courses/ PHOTO:
Gladstone’s Learn2 software has revolutionised course management, with benefits for both customers and the bottom line
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