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Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Bound for success

Jak Phillips pays a visit to Oxygen Freejumping in west London and explores whether it can help jumpstart the UK’s fledgling trampoline park market

By Jak Phillips | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 9
Stalker and Turok have a wealth 
of health and fitness experience
Stalker and Turok have a wealth of health and fitness experience
NASA research found that 10 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline is a better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running

xygen Freejumping, a new venture helmed by ex-ukactive chair David Stalker and LA Fitness founder Fred Turok, has sprung open the doors of London’s first trampoline park in West Acton.

The debut site for the operation was officially opened in July by the mayor of Ealing Harbhajan Kaur Dheer, film star and freerunning legend Sébastien Foucan, and Team GB gymnasts Jenna Barrett and William Cowen.

The offering
A veritable treasure chest for fans of flips and tumbles, Oxygen Freejumping in Acton features a phalanx of springs, soft landings and fun fillers.

There are 150 connected trampolines on the main floor, along with dodgeball courts, a giant airbag, ‘walk the wall trampolines’, basketball hoops and tumble tracks. The West Acton site spans 27,000sq ft; forthcoming parks are due to measure 20,000–40,000sq ft.

Adults taking their kids along can watch from the sanctuary of the on-site café, while those eager to grab a slice of the action can take part in a fitness class. Dubbed O-Fit, the soon-to-launch £10 rebounder classes will be held in both the on-site exercise studio and in the wider park. Having trumpeted NASA research which found that 10 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline is a better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running, Oxygen’s hour-long classes will presumably not be for the faint-hearted.

First and foremost though, Oxygen Freejumping is focused on fun. Operating under the tagline ‘The air is better up here’ and fronted by a whimsical mascot called ‘Little O’, the park’s emphasis is firmly on having a good time.

“I challenge you all to jump on a trampoline and not smile,” said Stalker at the opening party. “We look forward to hosting your parties, teaching you to jump, helping you to get fit, learning together how to freerun – but most of all making sure you have a fantastic time.”

The team
The brainchild of founders Stalker and Turok, Oxygen Freejumping has amassed a top team of staff and investors to help realise the dream of a national trampolining empire.

As was the case during their time together at ukactive, Stalker is CEO of the business while Turok is chair. Meanwhile, former ukactive public affairs director Stephen Wilson is also on board as Oxygen’s strategy director.

The trampoline concept proved popular with investors from its early stages, with more than £2.5m raised during the venture’s fundraising phase with support from Jacaranda Capital Partners and Radius Equity.

It was then announced in May that Former Places for People Leisure CEO Steve Philpott had become the latest leisure industry heavyweight to back Oxygen, joining as an investor and non-executive director. The arrival of Philpott, who boasts extensive experience across the leisure industry as both an investor and operator, was hailed by Stalker as a major triumph.

“Steve’s many years as a senior player in all kinds of areas of leisure makes him a fantastic sounding board on both strategy and day-to-day operations,” Stalker told Health Club Management.

The Foucan factor
The company is no doubt built on solid foundations with its carefully-amassed team of industry veterans, but it was the partnership with a freerunning pioneer and French film star which brought an extra element of excitement to Stalker and Turok’s offering.

Sébastien Foucan, the man who is credited as one of the founders of freerunning, will oversee a series of academies that will give children and adults the opportunity to experience the sport ‘Foucan-style’.

A dedicated 3,000sq ft (279sq m) Foucan obstacle course will feature at every Oxygen trampoline park, which the Frenchman believes will herald the start of a “fantastic journey”.

“I’m very excited to be collaborating with Oxygen Freejumping to create a new experience of freerunning,” said Foucan, who famously showcased his high-octane skills in the opening sequence to the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale – remember the guy jumping on the cranes?

“What I’m passionate about is developing an environment where people can play with freedom – because for me, activity is vitality.”

Oxygen Freejumping - our VERDICT

The first thing you have to say about Oxygen Freejumping is that it’s a hell of a lot of fun. And that, of course, is precisely the point.


The enjoyment factor means you work up a sweat without even realising, and this is where Stalker and Turok pick up where they left off at ukactive: finding simple ways to get people moving more. At a time when English schoolchildren are less fit than ever before, it’s refreshing to see an exciting new activity arise which doesn’t require joysticks and a computer screen.

Sticking to your physical activity roots is one thing, but finding a viable business model to nurture them is quite another – and from a business perspective, Oxygen Freejumping is phenomenally marketable. Offering everything from children’s parties to workout classes, gymnastics academies to freerunning or even dodgeball, there’s literally something for all ages and demographics, so we can expect those trampoline coils to rarely stop springing.

Like barre classes and boutique studios, trampoline parks are another active leisure concept to trickle into our market from the US, where nearly 400 sites have sprung up in the past decade. Expect many more to open across the UK in the next 18 months as operators rush to tap the sector’s latent potential. Stalker is aiming to open six more sites over the next 12 months and says there are already a further 15 in the planning pipeline.

One area where trampoline parks have come under scrutiny in the US is over safety, after several deaths and injuries hit the headlines. In this instance, UK operators appear to have learned from their American cousins’ mistakes, with parks like Oxygen implementing rigorous staff training programmes, reinforced from a legal perspective by several disclaimers that guests must sign before entering the arena.

There are six more openings planned for the next year
There are six more openings planned for the next year
If you would like to get each issue of HCM magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly HCM ezine, sign up now!
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/567370_526685.jpg
Trampolining is a better CV workout than running, says NASA – we visit Oxygen Freejumping to see what it's all about
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HCM people

Ben Lucas

Founder, Flow Athletic, Sydney
We advise our Flow Athletes to complete classes at a ratio of one yoga class to one strength class to one cardio class. This combination has very positive effects
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I want us to make sure we’re still the go-to sector with the greatest power to improve health and wellbeing in society. We absolutely must not abdicate that opportunity
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features

Bound for success

Jak Phillips pays a visit to Oxygen Freejumping in west London and explores whether it can help jumpstart the UK’s fledgling trampoline park market

By Jak Phillips | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 9
Stalker and Turok have a wealth 
of health and fitness experience
Stalker and Turok have a wealth of health and fitness experience
NASA research found that 10 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline is a better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running

xygen Freejumping, a new venture helmed by ex-ukactive chair David Stalker and LA Fitness founder Fred Turok, has sprung open the doors of London’s first trampoline park in West Acton.

The debut site for the operation was officially opened in July by the mayor of Ealing Harbhajan Kaur Dheer, film star and freerunning legend Sébastien Foucan, and Team GB gymnasts Jenna Barrett and William Cowen.

The offering
A veritable treasure chest for fans of flips and tumbles, Oxygen Freejumping in Acton features a phalanx of springs, soft landings and fun fillers.

There are 150 connected trampolines on the main floor, along with dodgeball courts, a giant airbag, ‘walk the wall trampolines’, basketball hoops and tumble tracks. The West Acton site spans 27,000sq ft; forthcoming parks are due to measure 20,000–40,000sq ft.

Adults taking their kids along can watch from the sanctuary of the on-site café, while those eager to grab a slice of the action can take part in a fitness class. Dubbed O-Fit, the soon-to-launch £10 rebounder classes will be held in both the on-site exercise studio and in the wider park. Having trumpeted NASA research which found that 10 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline is a better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running, Oxygen’s hour-long classes will presumably not be for the faint-hearted.

First and foremost though, Oxygen Freejumping is focused on fun. Operating under the tagline ‘The air is better up here’ and fronted by a whimsical mascot called ‘Little O’, the park’s emphasis is firmly on having a good time.

“I challenge you all to jump on a trampoline and not smile,” said Stalker at the opening party. “We look forward to hosting your parties, teaching you to jump, helping you to get fit, learning together how to freerun – but most of all making sure you have a fantastic time.”

The team
The brainchild of founders Stalker and Turok, Oxygen Freejumping has amassed a top team of staff and investors to help realise the dream of a national trampolining empire.

As was the case during their time together at ukactive, Stalker is CEO of the business while Turok is chair. Meanwhile, former ukactive public affairs director Stephen Wilson is also on board as Oxygen’s strategy director.

The trampoline concept proved popular with investors from its early stages, with more than £2.5m raised during the venture’s fundraising phase with support from Jacaranda Capital Partners and Radius Equity.

It was then announced in May that Former Places for People Leisure CEO Steve Philpott had become the latest leisure industry heavyweight to back Oxygen, joining as an investor and non-executive director. The arrival of Philpott, who boasts extensive experience across the leisure industry as both an investor and operator, was hailed by Stalker as a major triumph.

“Steve’s many years as a senior player in all kinds of areas of leisure makes him a fantastic sounding board on both strategy and day-to-day operations,” Stalker told Health Club Management.

The Foucan factor
The company is no doubt built on solid foundations with its carefully-amassed team of industry veterans, but it was the partnership with a freerunning pioneer and French film star which brought an extra element of excitement to Stalker and Turok’s offering.

Sébastien Foucan, the man who is credited as one of the founders of freerunning, will oversee a series of academies that will give children and adults the opportunity to experience the sport ‘Foucan-style’.

A dedicated 3,000sq ft (279sq m) Foucan obstacle course will feature at every Oxygen trampoline park, which the Frenchman believes will herald the start of a “fantastic journey”.

“I’m very excited to be collaborating with Oxygen Freejumping to create a new experience of freerunning,” said Foucan, who famously showcased his high-octane skills in the opening sequence to the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale – remember the guy jumping on the cranes?

“What I’m passionate about is developing an environment where people can play with freedom – because for me, activity is vitality.”

Oxygen Freejumping - our VERDICT

The first thing you have to say about Oxygen Freejumping is that it’s a hell of a lot of fun. And that, of course, is precisely the point.


The enjoyment factor means you work up a sweat without even realising, and this is where Stalker and Turok pick up where they left off at ukactive: finding simple ways to get people moving more. At a time when English schoolchildren are less fit than ever before, it’s refreshing to see an exciting new activity arise which doesn’t require joysticks and a computer screen.

Sticking to your physical activity roots is one thing, but finding a viable business model to nurture them is quite another – and from a business perspective, Oxygen Freejumping is phenomenally marketable. Offering everything from children’s parties to workout classes, gymnastics academies to freerunning or even dodgeball, there’s literally something for all ages and demographics, so we can expect those trampoline coils to rarely stop springing.

Like barre classes and boutique studios, trampoline parks are another active leisure concept to trickle into our market from the US, where nearly 400 sites have sprung up in the past decade. Expect many more to open across the UK in the next 18 months as operators rush to tap the sector’s latent potential. Stalker is aiming to open six more sites over the next 12 months and says there are already a further 15 in the planning pipeline.

One area where trampoline parks have come under scrutiny in the US is over safety, after several deaths and injuries hit the headlines. In this instance, UK operators appear to have learned from their American cousins’ mistakes, with parks like Oxygen implementing rigorous staff training programmes, reinforced from a legal perspective by several disclaimers that guests must sign before entering the arena.

There are six more openings planned for the next year
There are six more openings planned for the next year
If you would like to get each issue of HCM magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly HCM ezine, sign up now!
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Oxygen Freejumping in Acton is already drawing the crowds
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
Foucan is seen as a freerunning founder
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/567370_526685.jpg
Trampolining is a better CV workout than running, says NASA – we visit Oxygen Freejumping to see what it's all about
Latest News
Glasgow Life, which runs leisure and culture facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council, has ...
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Fitness equipment firm Nautilus Inc is looking for a buyer for its commercial equipment brand ...
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Technogym has announced the launch of live streaming and on-demand classes. The new content will ...
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A number of gym operators are concerned that local lockdowns could come into effect in ...
Latest News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that gyms may be able to reopen in a ...
Latest News
UK consumer confidence has improved significantly since the beginning of the lockdown, with a fifth ...
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The PGA Tour has recently bought 1,000 Whoop bands for its golfers, after PGA Tour ...
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Featured supplier: EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Let's get restarted: Physical Company offers advice on keeping gym members safe
As countries around the world gear up to relax their lockdown rules, there remains a question mark over gyms and studios, which in many markets will be one of the last sectors to be given the green light.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
Through our Life Fitness Solutions Partners, we can deliver design and build services, finance solutions, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FunXtion International BV
Unlock your club’s digital potential with the FunXtion Platform. Deliver engaging and immersive digital fitness ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
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International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
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Fisikal: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
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Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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