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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Letters: Write to reply

Fuel the debate about issues across the industry and share your ideas and experiences. We’d love to hear from you. [email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 10
Whole-life planning for physical activity is vital, says Miova's Ken Masser / photo: shutterstock/jacob lund
Whole-life planning for physical activity is vital, says Miova's Ken Masser / photo: shutterstock/jacob lund
Rowland Omamor, Lampton Leisure
Rowland Omamor / photo: lampton leisure

Local authorities and their operator partners are facing unprecedented financial challenges, but while we’re grappling with these, it’s vital we don’t lose sight of our core mission – serving communities that depend on our facilities.

We operate as a Local Authority Trading Company, with the liberty to be commercial, while also remaining community-centric. With the backing of Hounslow council, we stand firm in our commitment to uplifting the lives of local people, while also reducing the burden on NHS services.

From April 2022 to February 2023, we facilitated 1,754 Exercise on Referral sessions and hosted 51 adult weight management sessions. Our efforts expanded between March and October 2023 to the point where we allocate 76 hours a week to Exercise on Referral.

Recognising the diverse needs of local people, we provide specialist sessions, including women-only classes to empower more women to embrace fitness in a nurturing space and work with senior citizens focused on minimising mishaps, such as slips and falls.

Collaborating with the London Borough of Hounslow Swim Club, we grant free swimming and water safety sessions to people facing accessibility challenges.

These initiatives demonstrate our focus on societal impact.

While we believe we’ve delivered a robust post-lockdown recovery, our metrics of success extend far beyond that. We believe our true value lies in cultivating community ties and removing barriers to health and wellness.

We advocate for a transformation within the industry, envisioning leisure centres as essential community pillars, enhancing both mental and physical health.

Our true value lies in removing barriers to health and wellness
Ken Masser, Miova
Ken Masser / photo: moiva

I read your commentators’ analyses of the UK government physical activity strategy, Get Active, in the recent edition of HCM (issue 9 page 72).

It’s good to read a strategy that acknowledges the importance of local leadership, as there’s lots to be done around diversity, safeguarding, integrity and sustainability.

The key to unlocking that ambition is to recognise local leaders have the best understanding of where and what action is needed.

Facilities are an important part of the answer, but shouldn’t be the focus of the question and trying to fix problems ‘one facility at a time’ is focusing on the wrong solution, as ageing centres – while problematic – need to be viewed in the context of the challenge around stubborn inequalities in activity levels.

This approach accepts that the answer to every problem is not always to provide more money, but instead to focus on strategic leadership and local collaboration.

The more that can be joined-up, collaborated on and co-designed, the better. However, this isn’t all about co-locating services – although that can be part of it – it’s more about the nuanced interaction between facilities of all types, outdoor spaces, leaders and the workforce and the way people are welcomed and engaged.

The government strategy is a clear invitation for communities to come together and consider these elements holistically by establishing local plans for what’s needed in their area. This should help develop a pipeline for delivery and evidence to underpin funding requests across government.

We’ve enjoyed working with the Local Government Association and Sport England to support learning opportunities for local leaders to understand more about systems approaches and place-based working, as well as the practical application of those principles.

As the strategy says: “We’d encourage local leaders and local authorities to ensure there’s a clear and well-evidenced facilities plan for their local area. This should take into account informal spaces for participation, as well as the role the local leisure estate plays in contributing to physical activity and wider wellbeing.”

A broad principle that emerges in the new strategy is the idea that we need to embed physical activity along the whole lifecourse, at every age, in every community, and across all policy areas.

This will help ensure there’s joined-up local policymaking towards this outcome, improved local accountability and that local leaders and authorities are having positive impacts within their spheres of influence.

The strategy seems to summarise it well: “As we move forward, systemic change is now needed to ensure that public leisure is both relevant and viable in the coming years.”

A broad principle that emerges is that we need to embed physical activity along the whole life course
Mike Lyons, CEO, Horizon Leisure
Mike Lyons / photo: horizon Leisure

If we want to engage with the physically illiterate, we can’t do this from the confines of our normal facilities, as we would simply be talking to the converted; we have to build programmes that allow us to start talking to local people where they are.

We’ve taken a giant step forward in our outreach programme, meeting local residents through the opening of our Wellbeing Hub in a shopping centre.

It isn’t a gym and it’s not a leisure centre, it’s a totally different offer to our community.

Our first of its kind drop-in-centre, which was funded through Havant Borough Council, offers opportunities for wellbeing in a non-scary, familiar environment.

The Wellbeing Hub, which looks like a normal shop front, is situated next to a café in a shopping mall, meaning our community can pop in for health checks and physical activity advice from our experts on their way to the shops, or when they meet friends for a cup of coffee.

As a charitable health provider in Havant, Horizon Leisure is committed to inspiring healthier and happier communities and as part of that we’re keen to increase public accessibility to physical activity in a wider range of places and spaces.

The drop-in centre is offering free health checks, health interventions, exercise orientation programmes and small group exercise classes.

The hub, which only opened this summer, is already having a positive impact, with momentum building on the number of visitors popping in for health checks. It has already hosted a number of specialist community sessions, where a leisure centre setting might be seen as more intimidating and unfamiliar to those new to exercise. These include over 50s, men’s introduction to weights, Horizon Leisure’s Foundation Programme (an eight-week course designed to build confidence before attending our leisure centres), as well as low impact circuit classes, men-only circuits, women-only circuits, Flourish – our weight management programme – Smoke Free Hampshire and physio-led classes.

It’s a totally different offer for our community
The wellbeing hub is located in a shopping centre to remover barriers / photo: horizon Leisure
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2023/249176_961443.jpg
Roland Omamor, Mike Lyons and Ken Masser talk about serving communities and building strategic partnerships in their letters to HCM
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Featured supplier news: Sibec EMEA to blend fitness with luxury at Fairmont Monte Carlo
Experience the pinnacle of fitness and luxury at the premier industry event, Sibec EMEA, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo this Autumn.
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Featured supplier news: Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
Company profiles
Company profile: BLK BOX
BLK BOX is recognised as a trusted authority in strength equipment and facility design. Through ...
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
FIBO press release: FIBO 2024: Billion-euro fitness market continues to grow
11 to 14 April saw the fitness industry impressively demonstrate just how innovative it is in fulfilling its responsibility for a healthy society at FIBO in Cologne. Over 1,000 exhibitors and partners generated boundless enthusiasm among 129,668 visitors from 114 countries.
Featured press releases
KeepMe press release: Keepme launches Open-House Sessions – providing pressure-free platform insights
Keepme has this week announced a new initiative. Its ‘Open-House Sessions’ are set to offer a comprehensive insight into the platform's AI-powered technologies, intuitive design and extensive functionality.
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Snowroom
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22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
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China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
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Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
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Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
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Worldwide, Various,
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REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
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Messe Stuttgart, Germany
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QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
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04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Letters: Write to reply

Fuel the debate about issues across the industry and share your ideas and experiences. We’d love to hear from you. [email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 10
Whole-life planning for physical activity is vital, says Miova's Ken Masser / photo: shutterstock/jacob lund
Whole-life planning for physical activity is vital, says Miova's Ken Masser / photo: shutterstock/jacob lund
Rowland Omamor, Lampton Leisure
Rowland Omamor / photo: lampton leisure

Local authorities and their operator partners are facing unprecedented financial challenges, but while we’re grappling with these, it’s vital we don’t lose sight of our core mission – serving communities that depend on our facilities.

We operate as a Local Authority Trading Company, with the liberty to be commercial, while also remaining community-centric. With the backing of Hounslow council, we stand firm in our commitment to uplifting the lives of local people, while also reducing the burden on NHS services.

From April 2022 to February 2023, we facilitated 1,754 Exercise on Referral sessions and hosted 51 adult weight management sessions. Our efforts expanded between March and October 2023 to the point where we allocate 76 hours a week to Exercise on Referral.

Recognising the diverse needs of local people, we provide specialist sessions, including women-only classes to empower more women to embrace fitness in a nurturing space and work with senior citizens focused on minimising mishaps, such as slips and falls.

Collaborating with the London Borough of Hounslow Swim Club, we grant free swimming and water safety sessions to people facing accessibility challenges.

These initiatives demonstrate our focus on societal impact.

While we believe we’ve delivered a robust post-lockdown recovery, our metrics of success extend far beyond that. We believe our true value lies in cultivating community ties and removing barriers to health and wellness.

We advocate for a transformation within the industry, envisioning leisure centres as essential community pillars, enhancing both mental and physical health.

Our true value lies in removing barriers to health and wellness
Ken Masser, Miova
Ken Masser / photo: moiva

I read your commentators’ analyses of the UK government physical activity strategy, Get Active, in the recent edition of HCM (issue 9 page 72).

It’s good to read a strategy that acknowledges the importance of local leadership, as there’s lots to be done around diversity, safeguarding, integrity and sustainability.

The key to unlocking that ambition is to recognise local leaders have the best understanding of where and what action is needed.

Facilities are an important part of the answer, but shouldn’t be the focus of the question and trying to fix problems ‘one facility at a time’ is focusing on the wrong solution, as ageing centres – while problematic – need to be viewed in the context of the challenge around stubborn inequalities in activity levels.

This approach accepts that the answer to every problem is not always to provide more money, but instead to focus on strategic leadership and local collaboration.

The more that can be joined-up, collaborated on and co-designed, the better. However, this isn’t all about co-locating services – although that can be part of it – it’s more about the nuanced interaction between facilities of all types, outdoor spaces, leaders and the workforce and the way people are welcomed and engaged.

The government strategy is a clear invitation for communities to come together and consider these elements holistically by establishing local plans for what’s needed in their area. This should help develop a pipeline for delivery and evidence to underpin funding requests across government.

We’ve enjoyed working with the Local Government Association and Sport England to support learning opportunities for local leaders to understand more about systems approaches and place-based working, as well as the practical application of those principles.

As the strategy says: “We’d encourage local leaders and local authorities to ensure there’s a clear and well-evidenced facilities plan for their local area. This should take into account informal spaces for participation, as well as the role the local leisure estate plays in contributing to physical activity and wider wellbeing.”

A broad principle that emerges in the new strategy is the idea that we need to embed physical activity along the whole lifecourse, at every age, in every community, and across all policy areas.

This will help ensure there’s joined-up local policymaking towards this outcome, improved local accountability and that local leaders and authorities are having positive impacts within their spheres of influence.

The strategy seems to summarise it well: “As we move forward, systemic change is now needed to ensure that public leisure is both relevant and viable in the coming years.”

A broad principle that emerges is that we need to embed physical activity along the whole life course
Mike Lyons, CEO, Horizon Leisure
Mike Lyons / photo: horizon Leisure

If we want to engage with the physically illiterate, we can’t do this from the confines of our normal facilities, as we would simply be talking to the converted; we have to build programmes that allow us to start talking to local people where they are.

We’ve taken a giant step forward in our outreach programme, meeting local residents through the opening of our Wellbeing Hub in a shopping centre.

It isn’t a gym and it’s not a leisure centre, it’s a totally different offer to our community.

Our first of its kind drop-in-centre, which was funded through Havant Borough Council, offers opportunities for wellbeing in a non-scary, familiar environment.

The Wellbeing Hub, which looks like a normal shop front, is situated next to a café in a shopping mall, meaning our community can pop in for health checks and physical activity advice from our experts on their way to the shops, or when they meet friends for a cup of coffee.

As a charitable health provider in Havant, Horizon Leisure is committed to inspiring healthier and happier communities and as part of that we’re keen to increase public accessibility to physical activity in a wider range of places and spaces.

The drop-in centre is offering free health checks, health interventions, exercise orientation programmes and small group exercise classes.

The hub, which only opened this summer, is already having a positive impact, with momentum building on the number of visitors popping in for health checks. It has already hosted a number of specialist community sessions, where a leisure centre setting might be seen as more intimidating and unfamiliar to those new to exercise. These include over 50s, men’s introduction to weights, Horizon Leisure’s Foundation Programme (an eight-week course designed to build confidence before attending our leisure centres), as well as low impact circuit classes, men-only circuits, women-only circuits, Flourish – our weight management programme – Smoke Free Hampshire and physio-led classes.

It’s a totally different offer for our community
The wellbeing hub is located in a shopping centre to remover barriers / photo: horizon Leisure
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2023/249176_961443.jpg
Roland Omamor, Mike Lyons and Ken Masser talk about serving communities and building strategic partnerships in their letters to HCM
Latest News
Having redefined the model of public-private collaboration in Spain, Go Fit is now expanding into ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness has become the subject of a hate campaign by certain groups of consumers ...
Latest News
Recovery, social wellness and longevity were talking points at PerformX recently, tipped by many speakers ...
Latest News
Industry experts are gathering in Cologne for today's European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF), followed ...
Latest News
Jason Worthy has been appointed group CEO of Myzone to lead the 'next stage of ...
Latest News
John Kersh has announced he is leaving boutique franchisor, Xponential Fitness, after eight years with ...
Latest News
Oxygen Consulting is about to launch its first UK Padel Report, which investigates this fast-growing ...
Latest News
Global publishing outfit, Leisure Media, has announced details of its new annual conference for decision-makers ...
Latest News
Portugese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, has launched a health and wellness app that harmonises advice on ...
Latest News
Disturbing new research has found BMI completely fails as an accurate measure of obesity in ...
Latest News
A new urban city centre in Gothenburg, Sweden is in development with the aim of ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Sibec EMEA to blend fitness with luxury at Fairmont Monte Carlo
Experience the pinnacle of fitness and luxury at the premier industry event, Sibec EMEA, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo this Autumn.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
Company profiles
Company profile: BLK BOX
BLK BOX is recognised as a trusted authority in strength equipment and facility design. Through ...
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
FIBO press release: FIBO 2024: Billion-euro fitness market continues to grow
11 to 14 April saw the fitness industry impressively demonstrate just how innovative it is in fulfilling its responsibility for a healthy society at FIBO in Cologne. Over 1,000 exhibitors and partners generated boundless enthusiasm among 129,668 visitors from 114 countries.
Featured press releases
KeepMe press release: Keepme launches Open-House Sessions – providing pressure-free platform insights
Keepme has this week announced a new initiative. Its ‘Open-House Sessions’ are set to offer a comprehensive insight into the platform's AI-powered technologies, intuitive design and extensive functionality.
Directory
Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
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
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
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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