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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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People should concentrate on exercise and staying fit – rather than dieting and weight loss ...
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Featured supplier news: Technogym awarded “Supplier of the year” at ukactive awards 2021
The best in class of the physical activity sector have been revealed at the ukactive Awards 2021.
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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: 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: 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.
Company profiles
Company profile: Merrithew™ - Leaders in Mindful Movement™
Merrithew™ enriches the lives of others with responsible exercise modalities and innovative, multidisciplinary fitness offerings ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
With science and innovation at its core, Freemotion questions how we work out and then ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
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
People should concentrate on exercise and staying fit – rather than dieting and weight loss ...
Latest News
Sibec Europe, scheduled to take place in Cologne, Germany, from 2 to 5 November 2021, ...
Latest News
Swim England has warned that 2,000 swimming pools could be lost forever unless the government ...
Latest News
Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has joined gym-goers this morning to kick-off the annual National Fitness ...
Latest News
A new high-end workspace, designed for the use of personal trainers, coaches and other health ...
Latest News
VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see ...
Latest News
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it ...
Latest News
Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study ...
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Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic ...
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Nadine Dorries has replaced Oliver Dowden as the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture ...
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In a major move against the gym market, Apple has revealed a number of upgrades ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Technogym awarded “Supplier of the year” at ukactive awards 2021
The best in class of the physical activity sector have been revealed at the ukactive Awards 2021.
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: 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: 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.
Company profiles
Company profile: Merrithew™ - Leaders in Mindful Movement™
Merrithew™ enriches the lives of others with responsible exercise modalities and innovative, multidisciplinary fitness offerings ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
With science and innovation at its core, Freemotion questions how we work out and then ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
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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