Les Mills
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Les Mills
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management


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Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 1

The fresh perspective Generation Z brings to the fitness industry is needed to improve inclusivity and services

Laura Kavanagh
Laura Kavanagh
Laura Kavanagh,


Sports Quest Ltd

I was pleased to see a spotlight shone on the importance of Generation Z in the last issue of Health Club Management (Introducing Gen Z, p46). As a former elite female rugby player and young fitness business owner, I’m very aware of the barriers the young face, both in sports and business, and I feel certain that actively creating more opportunities for Generation Z will knock down participation barriers and help our industry progress.

That’s why I started Sports Quest Ltd, which focuses on engaging the young in physical activity, and does so through fitness, sports, therapy and education. By opening up courses in connection with the YMCA, offering elite academy set ups, providing dynamic educational establishment services, career pathways, therapy and rehabilitation, we want to help Generation Z see the wonders of working in the industry. And we’re taking things further by creating higher levels of specialised development through Sports Quest’s sister company

Q Gym Ltd – an inclusive gym that focuses on core fitness values and meeting the requirements of people with special educational needs, mental health problems and an array of disabilities.

Inclusivity has been the exception rather than the norm until now. However, the fresh outlook Generation Z is bringing to our industry provides the perfect opportunity for us all to evolve and establish a sector that places all in society on a more level playing field.

As a young entrepreneur who employs many Z-ers, I can confidently say that this generation has remarkable ideas that can transform our industry for the better. We now need to create the pathways to help them put these ideas into action.

"Inclusivity has been the exception rather than the norm until now"

Z-ers will need the fitness industry’s support to thrive / PHOTO:  SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Z-ers will need the fitness industry’s support to thrive / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Health club staff must be trained in using automated external defibrillators if operators are to safeguard member health

Martin Symcox
Martin Symcox
Martin Symcox,



It was recently announced that London’s black cab drivers will be taught how to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to help them handle emergency situations. I welcome this news. People can suffer cardiac arrest anywhere, and health clubs are no exception. On the contrary, gyms, sports halls and swimming pools are one of the most common areas for this type of incident.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of premature death and an AED combined with CPR can significantly increase the chances of survival. According to the British Heart Foundation, for every single minute a person goes without defibrillation, their chances of survival fall by up to 10 per cent.

With that in mind, we’re working with forward-thinking operators to save lives with AEDs and are encouraged to see that so many installing AEDs in their centres. They’re also training a wide range of staff – from gym and pool team members, to reception staff – in their use. And they boast some impressive survival rates as a result.

For example, Places for People Leisure has reported a 73 per cent survival rate after intervention with an AED, David Lloyd Leisure has saved over 100 lives with AEDs, while GLL staff saved lives in 75 per cent of incidents in London in the last year alone. Bourne Leisure, Everybody Sport and Recreation, Leeds Active Lifestyles and Fusion are also achieving results after installing AEDs in every centre.

These few examples demonstrate the vital role of AEDs and echo how important it is for operators to invest in this life-saving technology and in training key staff on how to use it.

"People can suffer cardiac arrest anywhere, and health clubs are no exception"

An AED plus CPR can increase the chances of survival after a cardiac arrest / PHOTO:  SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
An AED plus CPR can increase the chances of survival after a cardiac arrest / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
How the sector can help Gen Z is discussed
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Les Mills
Les Mills