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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: Getting reclassified

Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It’s time to accelerate the fight to change this by creating a new vocabulary to define what we do, why it matters and how we can contribute

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 9
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We’re arguing that the fitness industry needs to get itself ‘reclassifed’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it

The unity of the industry in the UK over the last few weeks has been incredible. Operators, trade bodies and stakeholders have worked as one to win the battle to keep gyms open in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Part of the urgency felt by everyone involved has been a passionate belief that we are being misunderstood and incorrectly classified as a sector by government.

One point which brought this home was the inclusion of gyms in the same bracket as strip clubs during the government’s secondary lockdown planning.

We’re arguing the sector needs to get itself ‘reclassified’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it, so there’s no doubt as to our intentions and value.

We’re advocating the industry adopts the term ‘regulated’, and uses it to describe and define what we do.

Operators have invested huge sums in the software and systems needed to run COVID-secure facilities and the levels of regulation we’re able to deliver have been proven to be sufficient to keep our customers safe.

Logic and evidence suggest the virus is mainly spreading in unregulated environments, such as homes, so in referring to ourselves as regulated, we’re putting the industry firmly in the category of operations that are helping to reduce the spread of the virus and keep people safe.

It’s also a ‘futureproof’ term recognised by government and puts us in the same bracket as trusted sectors such as financial services, the law, airlines and utilities.

We must also fight to become recognised as an essential service, something ukactive has been lobbying hard for.

There are other terms we must adopt too. Decisionmakers in the NHS see their responsibilities as being related to ‘protection’ and ‘prevention’, with gyms currently filed firmly in the prevention category.

Given the pandemic is bringing protection to the fore as the priority for the NHS, our potential to contribute – via our work on prevention – is currently reduced.

We must argue that as a regulated sector which has proven it can operate in a COVID-secure way, we are also able to contribute to the NHS’s protection work, thereby showing we can deliver in relation to both prevention and protection.

If we can control the vocabulary, we can engage more powerfully with the government and the medical sector for the delivery of things such as COVID-19 recovery programmes and earn recognition for our professionalism.

The reputation management work done this year by the sector has brought us forward decades. The opportunity now is to nail this down by accurately defining ourselves and creating a consumer-facing kitemark to build trust.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/673233_648557.jpg
'Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It's time we accelerate the fight to change this' says HCM editor Liz Terry
Liz Terry, NHS,COVID-19, lockdown, fitness industry
HCM magazine
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features

Editor's letter: Getting reclassified

Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It’s time to accelerate the fight to change this by creating a new vocabulary to define what we do, why it matters and how we can contribute

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 9
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We’re arguing that the fitness industry needs to get itself ‘reclassifed’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it

The unity of the industry in the UK over the last few weeks has been incredible. Operators, trade bodies and stakeholders have worked as one to win the battle to keep gyms open in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Part of the urgency felt by everyone involved has been a passionate belief that we are being misunderstood and incorrectly classified as a sector by government.

One point which brought this home was the inclusion of gyms in the same bracket as strip clubs during the government’s secondary lockdown planning.

We’re arguing the sector needs to get itself ‘reclassified’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it, so there’s no doubt as to our intentions and value.

We’re advocating the industry adopts the term ‘regulated’, and uses it to describe and define what we do.

Operators have invested huge sums in the software and systems needed to run COVID-secure facilities and the levels of regulation we’re able to deliver have been proven to be sufficient to keep our customers safe.

Logic and evidence suggest the virus is mainly spreading in unregulated environments, such as homes, so in referring to ourselves as regulated, we’re putting the industry firmly in the category of operations that are helping to reduce the spread of the virus and keep people safe.

It’s also a ‘futureproof’ term recognised by government and puts us in the same bracket as trusted sectors such as financial services, the law, airlines and utilities.

We must also fight to become recognised as an essential service, something ukactive has been lobbying hard for.

There are other terms we must adopt too. Decisionmakers in the NHS see their responsibilities as being related to ‘protection’ and ‘prevention’, with gyms currently filed firmly in the prevention category.

Given the pandemic is bringing protection to the fore as the priority for the NHS, our potential to contribute – via our work on prevention – is currently reduced.

We must argue that as a regulated sector which has proven it can operate in a COVID-secure way, we are also able to contribute to the NHS’s protection work, thereby showing we can deliver in relation to both prevention and protection.

If we can control the vocabulary, we can engage more powerfully with the government and the medical sector for the delivery of things such as COVID-19 recovery programmes and earn recognition for our professionalism.

The reputation management work done this year by the sector has brought us forward decades. The opportunity now is to nail this down by accurately defining ourselves and creating a consumer-facing kitemark to build trust.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/673233_648557.jpg
'Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It's time we accelerate the fight to change this' says HCM editor Liz Terry
Liz Terry, NHS,COVID-19, lockdown, fitness industry
Latest News
Rainer Schaller, founder of budget gym megabrand McFIT, says that the global fitness industry will ...
Latest News
The most high-risk and controversial Olympics of modern times begin today (23 July) in Tokyo, ...
Latest News
Further research into the levels of positive COVID-19 cases among those to have visited fitness ...
Latest News
Planning approval has been granted to what is set to become one of the first ...
Latest News
Digital fitness content provider, Wexer, is launching a new wellness resource on its connected Web ...
Latest News
Leisure-net has revealed plans to transform its active-net business event from an annual face-to-face gathering ...
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F45's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has revealed a strong appetite from ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How are hundreds of gym operators suddenly saving a lot of money for doing a lot less work?
Let’s talk about Orbit4 – the secret behind successful gyms.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Company profiles
Company profile: InBody UK
InBody provides products that are accurate, medically rated holding a CE mark and certified to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: miha bodytec
Founded in 2007 in Gersthofen, Germany, miha bodytec is the market-leading supplier of Electro Muscle ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Gympass
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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