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Core Health and Fitness
Core Health and Fitness
Core Health and Fitness
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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

HCM People: Belinda StewardMD of leisure, health and wellbeing, Places Leisure Places Leisure

We need to make it automatic that when people go to their doctor, they’re offered exercise rather than medication where appropriate

Published in Health Club Management 2024 issue 4
Steward has an extensive background in hospitality / photo: Places Leisure
Steward has an extensive background in hospitality / photo: Places Leisure
Physical inactivity is the fourth largest killer in the UK, but our industry can do something about it

Having just stepped into your new job, what appealed to you about it?
It’s a privilege to have this role and be part of the solution when it comes to making physical activity accessible to everyone.

The stats really motivate me. Physical inactivity is the fourth largest killer in the UK, which is shocking, but our industry is able to do something about it.

You've held leadership roles in hospitality, how will you deploy the skills and experience you gained?
I have a good understanding of how to operationalise and optimise businesses, so I’ll be looking for ways to add value for our customers.

Part of this will be ensuring we have a consistent brand across all our facilities, as the more consistent you are, the more your customers know what to expect and it makes it easier for customers and colleagues to transfer between facilities.

Cross-industry partnership is also key, so I’ll be looking to form collaborations with others in the industry and industry bodies to broaden accessibility.

During COVID I was fortunate to be on the CEO board for accommodation providers working in UK hospitality and we were pivotal in lobbying the government to get hospitality venues opened early. It was a really interesting insight into how collaboration with people you sometimes see as your competitors can work to the benefit of the community at large.

I'll also be looking at how we can use technology to make the experience easier for our customers, so the time our colleagues spend with them adds value, rather than them being caught up with functional tasks.

The customer journey is another area for review. I'll be making sure our facilities are accessible and where we don't have buildings, looking at how we can take our services into communities.

What are Places Leisure's main challenges as you step into your role?
The same as everybody in terms of dealing with increased costs – particularly in utilities.

We’ve chosen to be a Real Living Wage provider, which we believe is the right thing to do.

It resonated with our teams in a recent colleague survey which reflected that we’re a great place to work. We also have good retention rates among our people and loyal staff help create loyal customers.

What are the main opportunities?
I'm really encouraged by the uplift in demand for physical activity we're experiencing. It's great to see this has become so popular in a post-COVID world.

In contrast, pubs haven’t regained the momentum they had before the pandemic and are still faced with the headwinds of costs.

There are opportunities for innovation – for example, we're looking to open some padel courts, as it’s a fantastic sport that brings in a whole new group of people. And there are opportunities to take our offering out into our communities.

Our sector has the chance and the responsibility, to help the NHS. We need to make it automatic that when people go to their doctor, they’re offered exercise rather than medication where appropriate. Industry collaboration will make it easier to work in partnership with the NHS and data is the key to demonstrating the value we offer.

What new challenges lie ahead?
We've just taken on the management of 10 leisure centres for Northumberland County Council, which gives us a bigger geographic reach and we're also looking for more opportunities to take our offering out into our communities. It should never be the case that people don't have access to physical activity and I think it's my responsibility to make sure we get out there and give people the chance to enjoy it.

Are you working on any special programmes?
Graves Health and Sports Centre is taking part in a groundbreaking diabetes and peripheral neuropathy study run by Sheffield Teaching Hospital Community Wellness Services and the NHS Foundation Trust. This is the first trial of a physical activity intervention and participants will receive one-to-one sessions from a Level 4 endocrine-trained fitness professional. It’s the first study of its kind to be conducted within a leisure centre.

We’ve also teamed up with British Blind Sport to support the ‘See Sport Differently’ campaign, which aims to tackle activity barriers for the two million people in the UK living with sight loss.

We’re looking at ways to make our centres more accessible and have already delivered 10 workshops on this to 111 staff so they have the necessary skills to welcome and support these customers.

Our sector tackles physical inactivity – the fourth biggest killer in the UK / photo: Places Leisure
Our sector tackles physical inactivity – the fourth biggest killer in the UK / photo: Places Leisure
A recent survey showed the company is a great place to work / photo: Places Leisure
A recent survey showed the company is a great place to work / photo: Places Leisure
Places Leisure will be providing Level 4 endocrine-trained fitness professionals / photo: Places Leisure / tobyphillipsphotography
Places Leisure will be providing Level 4 endocrine-trained fitness professionals / photo: Places Leisure / tobyphillipsphotography
/ photo: Places Leisure
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2024/789340_211003.jpg
The MD of leisure, health and wellbeing at Places Leisure talks about the opportunities she sees in a post-COVID world
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The European fitness sector is beating pre-pandemic numbers according to the 11th annual European Health & Fitness Market Report 2024 from Deloitte and EuropeActive, as Karsten Hollasch reports
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Places Leisure successfully launches myFitApp to enhance member experience
Places Leisure is a leading leisure centre operator with a mission to create active places and healthy people for communities to thrive.
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Featured supplier news: Empower your team, transform your service – elevate with coaching workshops
In today's competitive fitness landscape, the key to success lies not only in providing exceptional facilities but also in cultivating meaningful interactions with members.
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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features

HCM People: Belinda StewardMD of leisure, health and wellbeing, Places Leisure Places Leisure

We need to make it automatic that when people go to their doctor, they’re offered exercise rather than medication where appropriate

Published in Health Club Management 2024 issue 4
Steward has an extensive background in hospitality / photo: Places Leisure
Steward has an extensive background in hospitality / photo: Places Leisure
Physical inactivity is the fourth largest killer in the UK, but our industry can do something about it

Having just stepped into your new job, what appealed to you about it?
It’s a privilege to have this role and be part of the solution when it comes to making physical activity accessible to everyone.

The stats really motivate me. Physical inactivity is the fourth largest killer in the UK, which is shocking, but our industry is able to do something about it.

You've held leadership roles in hospitality, how will you deploy the skills and experience you gained?
I have a good understanding of how to operationalise and optimise businesses, so I’ll be looking for ways to add value for our customers.

Part of this will be ensuring we have a consistent brand across all our facilities, as the more consistent you are, the more your customers know what to expect and it makes it easier for customers and colleagues to transfer between facilities.

Cross-industry partnership is also key, so I’ll be looking to form collaborations with others in the industry and industry bodies to broaden accessibility.

During COVID I was fortunate to be on the CEO board for accommodation providers working in UK hospitality and we were pivotal in lobbying the government to get hospitality venues opened early. It was a really interesting insight into how collaboration with people you sometimes see as your competitors can work to the benefit of the community at large.

I'll also be looking at how we can use technology to make the experience easier for our customers, so the time our colleagues spend with them adds value, rather than them being caught up with functional tasks.

The customer journey is another area for review. I'll be making sure our facilities are accessible and where we don't have buildings, looking at how we can take our services into communities.

What are Places Leisure's main challenges as you step into your role?
The same as everybody in terms of dealing with increased costs – particularly in utilities.

We’ve chosen to be a Real Living Wage provider, which we believe is the right thing to do.

It resonated with our teams in a recent colleague survey which reflected that we’re a great place to work. We also have good retention rates among our people and loyal staff help create loyal customers.

What are the main opportunities?
I'm really encouraged by the uplift in demand for physical activity we're experiencing. It's great to see this has become so popular in a post-COVID world.

In contrast, pubs haven’t regained the momentum they had before the pandemic and are still faced with the headwinds of costs.

There are opportunities for innovation – for example, we're looking to open some padel courts, as it’s a fantastic sport that brings in a whole new group of people. And there are opportunities to take our offering out into our communities.

Our sector has the chance and the responsibility, to help the NHS. We need to make it automatic that when people go to their doctor, they’re offered exercise rather than medication where appropriate. Industry collaboration will make it easier to work in partnership with the NHS and data is the key to demonstrating the value we offer.

What new challenges lie ahead?
We've just taken on the management of 10 leisure centres for Northumberland County Council, which gives us a bigger geographic reach and we're also looking for more opportunities to take our offering out into our communities. It should never be the case that people don't have access to physical activity and I think it's my responsibility to make sure we get out there and give people the chance to enjoy it.

Are you working on any special programmes?
Graves Health and Sports Centre is taking part in a groundbreaking diabetes and peripheral neuropathy study run by Sheffield Teaching Hospital Community Wellness Services and the NHS Foundation Trust. This is the first trial of a physical activity intervention and participants will receive one-to-one sessions from a Level 4 endocrine-trained fitness professional. It’s the first study of its kind to be conducted within a leisure centre.

We’ve also teamed up with British Blind Sport to support the ‘See Sport Differently’ campaign, which aims to tackle activity barriers for the two million people in the UK living with sight loss.

We’re looking at ways to make our centres more accessible and have already delivered 10 workshops on this to 111 staff so they have the necessary skills to welcome and support these customers.

Our sector tackles physical inactivity – the fourth biggest killer in the UK / photo: Places Leisure
Our sector tackles physical inactivity – the fourth biggest killer in the UK / photo: Places Leisure
A recent survey showed the company is a great place to work / photo: Places Leisure
A recent survey showed the company is a great place to work / photo: Places Leisure
Places Leisure will be providing Level 4 endocrine-trained fitness professionals / photo: Places Leisure / tobyphillipsphotography
Places Leisure will be providing Level 4 endocrine-trained fitness professionals / photo: Places Leisure / tobyphillipsphotography
/ photo: Places Leisure
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2024/789340_211003.jpg
The MD of leisure, health and wellbeing at Places Leisure talks about the opportunities she sees in a post-COVID world
Latest News
The JD Gyms Group has completed a deal to acquire Simply Gym from Bay Leisure. ...
Latest News
Women’s health specialist, The Well HQ, has secured 'sweat equity' backing from Priya Oberoi, founder ...
Latest News
Peloton has secured a critical US$1bn five-year loan to shore up its finances. The loan ...
Latest News
Leisure Media has added another heavyweight to its line-up of CEOs for its inaugural HCM ...
Latest News
Empowered Brands has signed a deal with European staffless gym chain, Fit+, to be the ...
Latest News
Speaking to HCM for its 2024-2025 Handbook, which will be out next month, PureGym managing ...
Latest News
Leisure, lifestyle, wellness and entertainment growth investor, Imbiba, has invested in boutique gym brand, 1Rebel's ...
Latest News
Urban Gym Group will launch PILAT3S at ClubSportive in Amsterdam next month, to create a ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Places Leisure successfully launches myFitApp to enhance member experience
Places Leisure is a leading leisure centre operator with a mission to create active places and healthy people for communities to thrive.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Empower your team, transform your service – elevate with coaching workshops
In today's competitive fitness landscape, the key to success lies not only in providing exceptional facilities but also in cultivating meaningful interactions with members.
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical
Physical is the UK’s go-to, one-stop shop for commercial grade fitness equipment and flooring, with ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Xplor Gym
Xplor Gym is an all-in-one gym management software with embedded payments & integrated access control ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Speedflex (Europe) Ltd. press release: Speedflex hosts networking golf day at Close House
Speedflex, renowned for its innovative approach to fitness, recently ventured into new territory by hosting its first-ever networking golf day at Close House, one of the most renowned golfing destinations in the UK.
Featured press releases
Wattbike Ltd press release: EXOS adds Wattbike to its supplier list
Wattbike, leaders in indoor cycling, is proud to announce that wattbike is now included as an official supplier with Exos, global experts in human performance and corporate wellbeing solutions.
Directory
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
06-06 Jun 2024
Drayton Manor Theme Park & Resort, Tamworth, United Kingdom
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
08-10 Sep 2024
Wyndham® Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
20-22 Sep 2024
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
09-13 Oct 2024
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Diary dates
10 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London,
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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