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Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

More women swimming as rethink over classes sees numbers triple

We know fears over body image or swimming ability can be major barriers stopping some women from taking up swimming, so we wanted to do everything we can to create an environment where women can feel comfortable
– Kate McKnight, head of aquatics, Serco Leisure

Women-only swimming sessions could hold the key to improving numbers, according to an initiative by leisure centre operator Serco.

The number of women taking part in sessions at the operator’s facilities has more than tripled over the past two years, following the introduction of women-only classes to deliver a more comfortable experience.

Serco introduced the classes at 20 of its leisure centres across England in support of the This Girl Can Swim campaign, part of the nationwide This Girl Can campaign led by Sport England aimed at encouraging women and girls to be more active and participate in sport.

The number of female swimmers fell by more than half a million between 2005-6 and 2015-6 according to Sport England’s Active People survey – over twice the fall seen among men.

However, since Serco introduced women-only classes in January 2016, the number of women taking part has grown from approximately 150 a week to nearly 500.

It reported that 25 per cent of swimmers who have joined the classes have never swum at the centres before and 54 per cent have not swum in the past six months.

“We know fears over body image or swimming ability can be major barriers stopping some women from taking up swimming, so we wanted to do everything we can to create an environment where women can feel comfortable,” said Kate McKnight, head of aquatics at Serco Leisure.

“Some of the changes are very small but they’ve had a really big impact. For example, many women have told us that the poolside robe and towel hooks have made a huge difference, as they used to dread the walk to the pool from the changing rooms.

“The feedback has been fantastic and we’re really pleased more women are taking up swimming as a result.”

Other changes included offering free flip-flops for women who do not want to walk barefoot, employing female poolside assistants to help nervous swimmers relax, and giving tips on exercise and technique.

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Women-only swimming sessions could hold the key to improving numbers, according to an initiative by leisure centre operator Serco.
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Since January 2016, the number of women taking part in swimming sessions at 20 Serco leisure centres has grown from about 150 a week to nearly 500 / Shutterstock
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Features
Sponsored briefing
Leisure and gym operators are custodians of a huge volume of detailed personal information on members, making our industry not only a soft target, but also an attractive one - Paul Simpson
Features
Retention
Member retention is often a challenge, with operators typically losing 50 per cent of their membership annually. But a close look at the habits of clubs with impressive retention rates suggests that how you communicate with members significantly impacts their loyalty
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Consumer trends
Aged 21 years or younger, Generation Z are the next customers and employees of health clubs worldwide. Tom Walker asks generational researcher Denise Villa, PhD, how this tech-savvy and social media-driven generation will affect the industry
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Fitness foresight
Health Club Management’s annual Fitness ForesightTM looks at the key trends, influences and opportunities shaping the health and fitness sector over the coming year – and beyond
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ukactive update
As a new year begins, ukactive’s CEO Steve Ward explains the not-for-profit’s plans for making 2018 the year that physical activity makes its biggest impact in society to date
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IHRSA update
Last June, executive VP of fitness for private-equity firm New Evolution Ventures (NeV) Derek Gallup became chair of IHRSA. Here, Gallup, who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years, provides an insight into NeV’s operations and shares his intentions for his time at IHRSA
Features
Buyer Insight
What factors influence decisions made by the industry’s top buyers? Tom Walker speaks to the head of procurement at David Lloyd Leisure about how the company keeps its offer fresh
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Research
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, have found that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of glaucoma – a leading cause of blindness
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Nutrition
Today’s fitness consumers are more knowledgeable than ever before, often demanding nutritional offerings that are personalised to their health goals. Laura Swain from innovation research company Stylus, examines how in-gym nutrition is responding to this need
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Research
A new study by researchers at the British Psychological Society suggests that personality type can impact the effectiveness of a person’s exercise regime as it influences their preferred workout style, frequency and location
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Research
A new study has shown that combining yoga with aerobic exercise is twice as effective at reducing heart disease risk factors in patients than either done alone
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People
People profile
I often see clubs guaranteeing specific results for members, despite having little knowledge about their members’ goals or current levels of health and fitness. I wanted to avoid falling into this trap
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Interview
Yes, we want members to spend more money, of course we do, but I want them to spend more time with each other. Creating social hubs is really, really important
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I strongly believe the fitness industry is at the beginning of an increasingly innovative period and it’s exciting to be at the heart of that as part of the FIBO team
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For gyms looking to engage with this demographic, they need to make socialising part of the mix… they at least need to have somewhere where they can offer people a cup of tea after the class
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You could offer me a million pounds to promote something, but if it isn’t true to me or it’s damaging to my audience, I’m not going to do it
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We want to help gym operators to leverage their space and maximise their earning potential
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Catalogue Gallery
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Video Gallery
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Company profiles
Company profile: EZ-Runner Systems Ltd
With over 600 clients worldwide in Spa, Golf, Health Club, Hotel and Kids Play Leisure, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Wexer
Wexer is a leading provider of fitness technology, connecting fitness operators with consumers in evermore ...
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Software
Conceptek - Sistemas de Informacao, S.A.: Software
Computer solutions
Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Limited: Computer solutions
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Flooring
Rephouse: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Spirit Fitness UK: Exercise equipment
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Audio visual
Lightmasters UK Ltd: Audio visual
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Featured suppliers
Featured supplier: Elevate 2018 will feature new thought leadership conference alongside trade exhibition
Thanks to increasing industry support Elevate, the UK’s largest physical activity trade event, has announced details of a new thought leadership conference.
Featured suppliers
Featured supplier: The more effective kind of impact sound insulation
The function of the flooring in regard to protecting the building fabric is very important in fitness centres.
Property & Tenders
Stratford-upon-Avon
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Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-02 Mar 2018
BBC MediaCityUK, Salford, United Kingdom
Diary dates
05-09 Mar 2018
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Diary dates
Job search
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