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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
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Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
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Company profiles
Company profile: Perfect Gym Solutions S.A.
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Fitness equipment
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Uniforms
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Whole body cryotherapy
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Exercise equipment
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Architects/designers
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Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

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
Xponential Fitness has acquired Body Fit Training in a deal worth US$44m. The deal takes ...
Latest News
Exercise has been highlighted as a crucial weapon in cancer patients’ battle against the disease. ...
Latest News
The global health and fitness industry is returning to a busy programme of live trade ...
Latest News
Matrix and Intelivideo have signed a strategic partnership, which will see Intelivideo's fitness content integrated ...
Latest News
Nadine Dorries, the recently appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport at ...
Latest News
Mindbody has announced it's buying ClassPass, the consumer wellness subscription service that enables people to ...
Latest News
Tanni Grey-Thompson has outlined her vision on how the physical activity sector can play "the ...
Latest News
The Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA) has revealed the makeup of its inaugural nine-member ...
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The 40th Annual IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show (IHRSA 2021) begins today in Dallas, ...
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A new study has suggested that strength training can result in people losing around a ...
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Basic-Fit has officially opened its 1,000th club, with the launch of a new site in ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Surge integrates Fisikal with HubSpot to drive business efficiencies and grow revenue
As Surge expands its offer with the launch of a third dedicated Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) studio this summer – this time in Fleet Street, London – the brand reflects on the vital role of its estate wide digital ecosystem, created in partnership with Fisikal, designed to drive business efficiencies and commercial success.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Life Fitness introduces Integrity SL, the next generation LED console
Life Fitness has unveiled the new Integrity SL, its connected LED console designed for the Integrity Series cardio portfolio.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
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.
Company profiles
Company profile: Perfect Gym Solutions S.A.
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Venueserve Fitness
Venueserve Fitness is an easy-to-use, low-cost web- and mobile online exercise platform, already being used ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
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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