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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: David Burns

Our road map is to manage leisure facilities, developing them into community hubs and ensuring the most in need get the most support

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 10
Burns migrated to Australia from the north-east of the UK
Burns migrated to Australia from the north-east of the UK

What’s the purpose of Collective Leisure?
To enable ‘wellbeing without boundaries’. This means no matter who you are, where you’re from or what your background is, you should be able to access education, services and opportunities to enable your wellbeing and reach your potential.

We intentionally trade to tackle chronic disease, build resilient communities and provide access to employment and training for people from marginalised communities, using a systems approach.

We work in communities with communities by following a set of values and principles, including:

1. Distributed leadership – the power of self-responsibility, taking the initiative and collaborating at all levels.

2. Resilience – cultivating resilient communities through building strong relationships.

3. Inclusivity – fostering diversity and helping to build inclusive communities.

4. Vitality – serving with energy and optimism.

5. Leading with empathy and compassion.

What activities do you engage in?
We consult to local government to help them deliver service excellence to their communities.

We design and deliver wellbeing and sports programmes for educational establishments and community groups to help disadvantaged communities, such as asylum seekers and refugees, and those from lower socio-economic groups and people with disabilities.

We combine these services with human potential coaching and consulting to help people work through what prevents them from realising their true potential and a fulfilled life.

Our road map is to manage leisure facilities, developing them into community hubs - ensuring the most in need get the most support.

How is the organisation funded?
Collective Leisure is privately owned. I co-founded the organisation with my fiancé, Jennifer Barker.

Which outcomes have been most meaningful?
We were only established a little over a year ago, but two projects spring to mind at different ends of the system. Setting policy and delivering programmes.

The first was the development of a best practice contract specification, focusing on social outcomes and strong governance, for the City of Sydney’s new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

The facility, designed by Andrew Burges Architects in association with Grimshaw and TCL, will be an exemplar for access and inclusion and is the biggest aquatic complex built in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics. You can find out more at www.gunyamapark.com.au

The second project was delivering a wellbeing programme for Bankstown Senior College, based around Collective Leisure’s ‘wheel of wellbeing’ to refugees aged 18-22-years from war-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. This has been really rewarding and has led to us becoming the official wellbeing partner of the Australian College of Physical Education.

We’ve also been working on the New South Wales Inclusive Schools Programme where we’ve partnered with Special Olympics Australia to deliver sports sessions on their behalf to children with learning disabilities and autism. We’re also employing people from asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds.

How do you measure success?
We’ve partnered with Substance in the UK to use the Views impact measuring platform to measure our service delivery. We are the exclusive distributor of the platform in Australia.

What are your dreams for the future?
Collective Leisure is becoming a leisure facilities operator. From there we’ll provide service excellence with inclusion being not just an initiative, but a mindset.

I strongly believe the social challenges we face (COVID-19 included) can only be solved when people and organisations work together across sectors, boundaries, and cultures, ie, when we take a collective approach. There is an opportunity for greater collaboration in the industry.

Australia is a long way from England but there’s a big opportunity to share our collective intelligence for the betterment of our sectors and local communities. I aspire to be a conduit for this.

I also dream of a world where the playing field is levelled – where the most in need get the most support and everyone gets an opportunity to fulfil their potential.

What can be learned from the work you’re doing? What lessons are transferable?
As we’re all part of the bigger system, Collective Leisure decided to align with goals much bigger than its own.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all members of the United Nations, has at its heart 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership.

Collective Leisure is tackling these global priorities at a local level, focusing on three specific SDGs: good health and wellbeing, quality education and reducing inequality.

Finding a pathway to align local and global priorities is critical if we want to change the systemic problems of our time.

The principles of systems thinking are not new, but are so powerful. I would encourage anyone in the industry to practice systems thinking, which is an ongoing journey of learning for us all.

Our own personal practice can become the strongest influence in how we understand and see the system. We believe that to manage others we must first learn to manage ourselves and then lead with compassion.

What’s holding you back – if anything?
It’s going to be a bumpy road ahead for the sector, with government budgets reduced and consumer confidence low. Pressure to meet operational efficiencies in running leisure facilities has the potential to decrease service levels, resulting in widening inequality.

What have you learned this year?
We talk about the benefits of physical activity, but we’ve got a long way to go from simply knowing about these benefits to translating this knowledge into action to reduce incidences of chronic conditions.
It’s taken a pandemic for the focus to shift from viewing health as the absence of illness, to a new awareness of the value of cultivating wellbeing.

There’s momentum growing behind the idea of developing a public health system based on prevention rather than cure, but we need whole system thinking to make sure no one is left behind.

David Burns CV highlights

• MSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science from Teesside University

• Early career dedicated to sports development and inclusion – using sport to break down barriers in disadvantaged communities

• Created a Sportability Club and coached children and young people with disability in Middlesbrough

• Worked in grassroots football for the North Riding County Football Association as a football development officer

• Kick-started a 10 year football development programme tackling crime, unemployment, health and education for Hartlepool Council, as social inclusion football development officer

• Moved to Australia, worked in the aquatics leisure industry as a contract manager for local government, overseeing the City of Sydney’s aquatic leisure facilities and as a regional manager overseeing aquatic leisure facilities in the private sector, with Belgravia Leisure

• Founded Collective Leisure with fiancé, Jennifer Barker

• Launched a weekly show called ‘Part of the system’ on social media, interviewing people from organisations across all relevant sectors www.HCMmag.com/burns

• Currently four subjects into a masters degree in social impact

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Sydney
The new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Sydney
Burns has a background in aquatic management in Australia
Burns has a background in aquatic management in Australia
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/775691_861673.jpg
Collective Leisure has just become the first social enterprise leisure management company in Australia. HCM spoke to CEO David Burns
David Burns, Collective Leisure, Australia, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Sydney,leisure management, social enterprise
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We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
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Unlock your club’s digital potential with the FunXtion Platform. Deliver engaging and immersive digital fitness ...
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Property & Tenders
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NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
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Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
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Online,
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

HCM People: David Burns

Our road map is to manage leisure facilities, developing them into community hubs and ensuring the most in need get the most support

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 10
Burns migrated to Australia from the north-east of the UK
Burns migrated to Australia from the north-east of the UK

What’s the purpose of Collective Leisure?
To enable ‘wellbeing without boundaries’. This means no matter who you are, where you’re from or what your background is, you should be able to access education, services and opportunities to enable your wellbeing and reach your potential.

We intentionally trade to tackle chronic disease, build resilient communities and provide access to employment and training for people from marginalised communities, using a systems approach.

We work in communities with communities by following a set of values and principles, including:

1. Distributed leadership – the power of self-responsibility, taking the initiative and collaborating at all levels.

2. Resilience – cultivating resilient communities through building strong relationships.

3. Inclusivity – fostering diversity and helping to build inclusive communities.

4. Vitality – serving with energy and optimism.

5. Leading with empathy and compassion.

What activities do you engage in?
We consult to local government to help them deliver service excellence to their communities.

We design and deliver wellbeing and sports programmes for educational establishments and community groups to help disadvantaged communities, such as asylum seekers and refugees, and those from lower socio-economic groups and people with disabilities.

We combine these services with human potential coaching and consulting to help people work through what prevents them from realising their true potential and a fulfilled life.

Our road map is to manage leisure facilities, developing them into community hubs - ensuring the most in need get the most support.

How is the organisation funded?
Collective Leisure is privately owned. I co-founded the organisation with my fiancé, Jennifer Barker.

Which outcomes have been most meaningful?
We were only established a little over a year ago, but two projects spring to mind at different ends of the system. Setting policy and delivering programmes.

The first was the development of a best practice contract specification, focusing on social outcomes and strong governance, for the City of Sydney’s new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

The facility, designed by Andrew Burges Architects in association with Grimshaw and TCL, will be an exemplar for access and inclusion and is the biggest aquatic complex built in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics. You can find out more at www.gunyamapark.com.au

The second project was delivering a wellbeing programme for Bankstown Senior College, based around Collective Leisure’s ‘wheel of wellbeing’ to refugees aged 18-22-years from war-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. This has been really rewarding and has led to us becoming the official wellbeing partner of the Australian College of Physical Education.

We’ve also been working on the New South Wales Inclusive Schools Programme where we’ve partnered with Special Olympics Australia to deliver sports sessions on their behalf to children with learning disabilities and autism. We’re also employing people from asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds.

How do you measure success?
We’ve partnered with Substance in the UK to use the Views impact measuring platform to measure our service delivery. We are the exclusive distributor of the platform in Australia.

What are your dreams for the future?
Collective Leisure is becoming a leisure facilities operator. From there we’ll provide service excellence with inclusion being not just an initiative, but a mindset.

I strongly believe the social challenges we face (COVID-19 included) can only be solved when people and organisations work together across sectors, boundaries, and cultures, ie, when we take a collective approach. There is an opportunity for greater collaboration in the industry.

Australia is a long way from England but there’s a big opportunity to share our collective intelligence for the betterment of our sectors and local communities. I aspire to be a conduit for this.

I also dream of a world where the playing field is levelled – where the most in need get the most support and everyone gets an opportunity to fulfil their potential.

What can be learned from the work you’re doing? What lessons are transferable?
As we’re all part of the bigger system, Collective Leisure decided to align with goals much bigger than its own.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all members of the United Nations, has at its heart 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership.

Collective Leisure is tackling these global priorities at a local level, focusing on three specific SDGs: good health and wellbeing, quality education and reducing inequality.

Finding a pathway to align local and global priorities is critical if we want to change the systemic problems of our time.

The principles of systems thinking are not new, but are so powerful. I would encourage anyone in the industry to practice systems thinking, which is an ongoing journey of learning for us all.

Our own personal practice can become the strongest influence in how we understand and see the system. We believe that to manage others we must first learn to manage ourselves and then lead with compassion.

What’s holding you back – if anything?
It’s going to be a bumpy road ahead for the sector, with government budgets reduced and consumer confidence low. Pressure to meet operational efficiencies in running leisure facilities has the potential to decrease service levels, resulting in widening inequality.

What have you learned this year?
We talk about the benefits of physical activity, but we’ve got a long way to go from simply knowing about these benefits to translating this knowledge into action to reduce incidences of chronic conditions.
It’s taken a pandemic for the focus to shift from viewing health as the absence of illness, to a new awareness of the value of cultivating wellbeing.

There’s momentum growing behind the idea of developing a public health system based on prevention rather than cure, but we need whole system thinking to make sure no one is left behind.

David Burns CV highlights

• MSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science from Teesside University

• Early career dedicated to sports development and inclusion – using sport to break down barriers in disadvantaged communities

• Created a Sportability Club and coached children and young people with disability in Middlesbrough

• Worked in grassroots football for the North Riding County Football Association as a football development officer

• Kick-started a 10 year football development programme tackling crime, unemployment, health and education for Hartlepool Council, as social inclusion football development officer

• Moved to Australia, worked in the aquatics leisure industry as a contract manager for local government, overseeing the City of Sydney’s aquatic leisure facilities and as a regional manager overseeing aquatic leisure facilities in the private sector, with Belgravia Leisure

• Founded Collective Leisure with fiancé, Jennifer Barker

• Launched a weekly show called ‘Part of the system’ on social media, interviewing people from organisations across all relevant sectors www.HCMmag.com/burns

• Currently four subjects into a masters degree in social impact

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Sydney
The new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Sydney
Burns has a background in aquatic management in Australia
Burns has a background in aquatic management in Australia
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/775691_861673.jpg
Collective Leisure has just become the first social enterprise leisure management company in Australia. HCM spoke to CEO David Burns
David Burns, Collective Leisure, Australia, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Sydney,leisure management, social enterprise
Latest News
3d Leisure has put the current lockdown to good use, by stepping in to help ...
Latest News
Gyms and leisure centres in Scotland are set to open on 26 April, provided that ...
Latest News
Hundreds of gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres have been forced to close and thousands ...
Latest News
People placing increased emphasis on their physical fitness, the advances made in digital fitness and ...
Latest News
A new guide looks to offer local level practitioners and commissioners – as well as ...
Latest News
What are the effects on public health of gyms and leisure centres being shut during ...
Latest News
Mobile data and analytics provider App Annie has released its State Of Mobile 2021 report, ...
Latest News
The world's largest fitness trade fair, FIBO, has been rescheduled to November. The event will ...
Latest News
PM, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres in England will ...
Latest News
The re-opening of gyms in Wales has been pushed back by the country's First Minister ...
Latest News
The physical and mental health of women in the UK has been put under unprecedented ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Precor launches member-focused Preva Mobile app
Precor has launched a mobile app to accompany its popular networked fitness solution, Preva, which has so far recorded almost a billion workouts in more than 11,000 facilities worldwide.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Pulse Fitness updates iGym London with state-of-the-art technology
Pulse Fitness has recently completed a refurbishment of the fitness facilities at iGym London.
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Research Ltd
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FunXtion International BV
Unlock your club’s digital potential with the FunXtion Platform. Deliver engaging and immersive digital fitness ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Egym: Game changer
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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