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Health Club Management

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Andree Deane appointed head of YMCAfit

After four years away from the health and fitness industry, Leisure Opportunities can exclusively reveal that former FIA/ukactive chief executive Andree Deane will return as head of YMCAfit.

Effective from January 15, Deane is to replace Denise Page, who is stepping down after 22 years working at the charity - regarded as one of the UK’s leading trainers of fitness professionals.

Deane has spent the last four years in consultancy - specialising in government affairs plus becoming chair of TimeBank charity - and is well-placed to head up YMCAfit, having carried out a comprehensive review of YMCA’s organisational structure over the past 18 months.

She expects to spend the next year easing YMCAfit into its new incarnation, following the December 2013 merger between Central YMCA and YMCA Training, which brought together 520 staff across 26 UK locations.

On returning to YMCAfit, where she worked 12 years ago, Deane says: “It’s great to have come full circle - the company still has its core values of caring, but has also become more agile and responsive (comma) thanks to the great work of senior management, some of whom have joined the organisation from very different sectors.”

“During my time spent consulting outside the industry, I’ve learnt the value of networking with all relevant interest groups and to never underestimate the benefit of training, so hopefully that will hold me in good stead when it comes to tackling the challenges ahead.”

A staunch Labour Party supporter, Deane believes the coalition government’s cuts have hampered the success of the change4life campaign she helped launch in January 2009 while at the FIA.

But she feels the health and fitness industry needs to make a stronger argument for investment in encouraging healthy lifestyles to prevent obesity, backed up by “concrete evidence collated by reliable independent bodies.”

In the meantime, she’s busy focusing on her role ahead of what promises to be a memorable year.

As well as her new appointment, Deane’s husband (Labour MP Kevin Barron) received a knighthood in the new year’s honours list, giving her the new title ‘Lady Deane Barron.’

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After four years away from the health and fitness industry, Leisure Opportunities can exclusively reveal that former FIA/ukactive chief executive Andree Deane will return as head of YMCAfit.
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