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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People: Ivo Gormley, GoodGym

Founder, GOODGYM

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
GoodGym founder Gormley wanted to tackle isolation in the elderly
GoodGym founder Gormley wanted to tackle isolation in the elderly
More than a million people say they are always, or often, lonely. Loneliness and isolation is such a huge and invisible problem

What is GoodGym?
We combine exercise with doing good deeds. There are two concepts: the first is Coach Runs, where people run to visit an old person on a regular basis – we refer to them as their coach, on account of the fact that they provide ongoing motivation. Or the second, which is called Missions, where groups of runners help with a community project or a household job, like sorting out an overgrown garden or painting a community centre. We also run in groups to help community projects.

How did it come about?
After I left university I stopped doing sport and missed both the exercise and social aspect. I needed motivation to start exercising again, so I began running to see an older neighbour a couple of times a week, stopping for a chat and taking him a newspaper. He was an ex-soldier and gave me tips on how to build up my fitness.

In 2009 I started to think about extending this idea more widely, as loneliness and isolation is such a huge and invisible problem – according to Age UK, more than one million older people say they are always, or often, lonely.

I contacted organisations who work with old people, like The Red Cross and Age UK and set up a basic website, to try to match runners and old people. In 2013 I started working on it full time.

What was the main challenge in setting it up?
The biggest challenge is having to DBS check everyone to make sure they are appropriate, so we sometimes lose people in the sign up process. Other than that the challenges are getting the idea across to people and then matching people in the same area, with the same availability, without keeping either party waiting too long. If we had more runners, we could find more coaches.

How is it funded?
We’re a registered charity, so it’s all free to participate in. Many runners make donations and some coaches do, we also get small grants from local authorities and have received Lottery funding. We’re also now sponsored by BT and New Balance.

How fast are you growing?
We currently have around 4,000 members but it’s growing all the time as we actively spread into more cities: we’re now setting up in Norwich, Birmingham and Cardiff. We’re aiming to be in every UK city in the next two years.

Who does GoodGym appeal to?
All standards of runners, it’s a great way to find extra motivation to exercise.

Do you have plans to further diversify or expand going forward?
No, we’ll stick with what we’re doing and get better at it. Parkrun really inspires me, it’s an incredible and revolutionary organisation in the fitness world. They’ve stuck to one thing and focused on doing it really well and they work collaboratively with the community, so it’s very flexible and open.

How can gyms engage with your scheme?
Some gym operators, including Better, have been supportive by letting our runners use their facilities to meet up. It would be great if operators could collaborate with us and market our work to their members, who could do a Coach Run as another of their weekly workouts, or sign up for a one off Mission. It’s a great way to keep workouts varied and keep people engaged.

What achievements are you most proud of?
The culture that we’ve created. Everyone is so friendly and supportive of each other and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to help people who are living on their own.

Both parties get something from the arrangement. Our evaluation has shown that it improves the wellbeing of both the runners and the coaches, with 93 per cent of runners saying it increased their motivation to exercise. It gives both sides a sense of purpose.

The coaches benefit from the company and the structure. People have said that GoodGym has given them hope, or changed their perception of young people.

It’s also helped ease social isolation: we’ve had instances where the old people have been hospitalised and the runners are the only people who visit them. I’m most proud of the ways in which GoodGym has helped people connect.

Find out more: goodgym.org

Missions allow a group of runners to help with a project
Missions allow a group of runners to help with a project
Some gyms have become involved by allowing meet-ups for runners
Some gyms have become involved by allowing meet-ups for runners
Both runners and
the elderly benefit
from the scheme
Both runners and the elderly benefit from the scheme
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/576349_683520.jpg
Need a new reason to run? This month, we met Ivo Gormley, founder of GoodGym, who is helping people combine exercise with good deeds...
People
Kate Cracknell talks connected health and digital transformation with Chris Blackwell-Frost, Martin Friend and Rick Crawford from Nuffield Health’s senior management team
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Dr Jonathan Leary

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Remedy Place teaches people how to take care of themselves and gives them the tools they need to be holistically healthy
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Now we have an offering with no geographical limits, we’re looking to sell digital memberships beyond our member base
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Supplier showcase
Wattbike has partnered with Intelligent Cycling to transform indoor cycling with innovative new technology that enables automatic personalisation for riders in a group cycling class
Features
HCM research
The good news? People are changing their exercise habits in lockdown, becoming more active and spending more time exercising with their children, according to new research
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Promotional feature
Reaching members anywhere and anytime to connect, engage and coach is more important than ever and can easily be activated through Technogym Mywellness
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Innovation
With members stuck at home, now’s the perfect time to plan some cost-effective upgrades to your clubs. Suppliers explain how a flooring refresh could help attract members back in-club as the pandemic eases
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Software
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing gyms across the world to temporarily close their doors, staying connected to your members digitally has never been more important. Software suppliers tell Steph Eaves how they’re contributing
Features
Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane
Features
feature
Matrix Connected Solutions helps Roko deliver a digital member experience beyond the four walls of the clubs
Features
Latest News
A new report has revealed the likely timescales and shape of the UK fitness market's ...
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There has been a "surge in appreciation" of exercise during lockdown, with people turning to ...
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Gyms and health clubs in Dubai, UAE, have begun reopening their doors today (27 May) ...
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HCM understands that the directors of énergie Fitness have brought in specialist company FRP Advisory ...
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Planning approval has been granted for a new David Lloyd Club in Bicester, Oxfordshire. The ...
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Aerobic exercise boosts blood flow into two key regions of the brain associated with memory, ...
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Gympass has launched a new digital platform as a response to the increase in demand ...
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Opinion
promotion
Elon Musk has plans to conquer Mars and these days the meat on your hamburger can be grown in a lab - so why are so many fitness businesses still using papers and pens to create workouts for their members?
Opinion: How the current pandemic may be helping the fitness industry to innovate
Opinion
promotion
The activity industry finds itself in a position of considerable threat. Two-thirds of the world’s gyms are closed – that’s 230 million members unable to attend a fitness facility, according to data platform fitNdata.
Opinion: Ensuring members return after lockdown
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass partners with Wexer to launch on-demand workouts for operators
Gympass has launched Gympass Plus - including an on-demand platform powered by Wexer - for its 2,200+ operator partners. The platform comprises more than 500 workouts from 18 content providers including Zumba and Gaiam.
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Wattbike
Wattbike is the creator of the world’s most advanced and innovative indoor bikes, developed in ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Myzone Group Ltd
At Myzone we reward Effort to solve the pervasive problem of ‘diminishing motivation within exercisers’ ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness equipment
Healthcheck Services Ltd: Fitness equipment
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-31 Aug 2020
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
11-12 Oct 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

People: Ivo Gormley, GoodGym

Founder, GOODGYM

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
GoodGym founder Gormley wanted to tackle isolation in the elderly
GoodGym founder Gormley wanted to tackle isolation in the elderly
More than a million people say they are always, or often, lonely. Loneliness and isolation is such a huge and invisible problem

What is GoodGym?
We combine exercise with doing good deeds. There are two concepts: the first is Coach Runs, where people run to visit an old person on a regular basis – we refer to them as their coach, on account of the fact that they provide ongoing motivation. Or the second, which is called Missions, where groups of runners help with a community project or a household job, like sorting out an overgrown garden or painting a community centre. We also run in groups to help community projects.

How did it come about?
After I left university I stopped doing sport and missed both the exercise and social aspect. I needed motivation to start exercising again, so I began running to see an older neighbour a couple of times a week, stopping for a chat and taking him a newspaper. He was an ex-soldier and gave me tips on how to build up my fitness.

In 2009 I started to think about extending this idea more widely, as loneliness and isolation is such a huge and invisible problem – according to Age UK, more than one million older people say they are always, or often, lonely.

I contacted organisations who work with old people, like The Red Cross and Age UK and set up a basic website, to try to match runners and old people. In 2013 I started working on it full time.

What was the main challenge in setting it up?
The biggest challenge is having to DBS check everyone to make sure they are appropriate, so we sometimes lose people in the sign up process. Other than that the challenges are getting the idea across to people and then matching people in the same area, with the same availability, without keeping either party waiting too long. If we had more runners, we could find more coaches.

How is it funded?
We’re a registered charity, so it’s all free to participate in. Many runners make donations and some coaches do, we also get small grants from local authorities and have received Lottery funding. We’re also now sponsored by BT and New Balance.

How fast are you growing?
We currently have around 4,000 members but it’s growing all the time as we actively spread into more cities: we’re now setting up in Norwich, Birmingham and Cardiff. We’re aiming to be in every UK city in the next two years.

Who does GoodGym appeal to?
All standards of runners, it’s a great way to find extra motivation to exercise.

Do you have plans to further diversify or expand going forward?
No, we’ll stick with what we’re doing and get better at it. Parkrun really inspires me, it’s an incredible and revolutionary organisation in the fitness world. They’ve stuck to one thing and focused on doing it really well and they work collaboratively with the community, so it’s very flexible and open.

How can gyms engage with your scheme?
Some gym operators, including Better, have been supportive by letting our runners use their facilities to meet up. It would be great if operators could collaborate with us and market our work to their members, who could do a Coach Run as another of their weekly workouts, or sign up for a one off Mission. It’s a great way to keep workouts varied and keep people engaged.

What achievements are you most proud of?
The culture that we’ve created. Everyone is so friendly and supportive of each other and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to help people who are living on their own.

Both parties get something from the arrangement. Our evaluation has shown that it improves the wellbeing of both the runners and the coaches, with 93 per cent of runners saying it increased their motivation to exercise. It gives both sides a sense of purpose.

The coaches benefit from the company and the structure. People have said that GoodGym has given them hope, or changed their perception of young people.

It’s also helped ease social isolation: we’ve had instances where the old people have been hospitalised and the runners are the only people who visit them. I’m most proud of the ways in which GoodGym has helped people connect.

Find out more: goodgym.org

Missions allow a group of runners to help with a project
Missions allow a group of runners to help with a project
Some gyms have become involved by allowing meet-ups for runners
Some gyms have become involved by allowing meet-ups for runners
Both runners and
the elderly benefit
from the scheme
Both runners and the elderly benefit from the scheme
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/576349_683520.jpg
Need a new reason to run? This month, we met Ivo Gormley, founder of GoodGym, who is helping people combine exercise with good deeds...
Latest News
A new report has revealed the likely timescales and shape of the UK fitness market's ...
Latest News
There has been a "surge in appreciation" of exercise during lockdown, with people turning to ...
Latest News
Gyms and health clubs in Dubai, UAE, have begun reopening their doors today (27 May) ...
Latest News
HCM understands that the directors of énergie Fitness have brought in specialist company FRP Advisory ...
Latest News
Planning approval has been granted for a new David Lloyd Club in Bicester, Oxfordshire. The ...
Latest News
Aerobic exercise boosts blood flow into two key regions of the brain associated with memory, ...
Latest News
Gympass has launched a new digital platform as a response to the increase in demand ...
Latest News
Austrian medical health and wellness operator, Lanserhof, has launched a programme for people who’ve had ...
Latest News
HCM can report that Europe Active's annual thought-leader conference, the European Health and Fitness Forum ...
Latest News
The number of people signing up for memberships at Planet Fitness has been at 2019 ...
Latest News
Gyms in England could be open in July if lobbying by the fitness industry comes ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Opinion
promotion
Elon Musk has plans to conquer Mars and these days the meat on your hamburger can be grown in a lab - so why are so many fitness businesses still using papers and pens to create workouts for their members?
Opinion: How the current pandemic may be helping the fitness industry to innovate
Opinion
promotion
The activity industry finds itself in a position of considerable threat. Two-thirds of the world’s gyms are closed – that’s 230 million members unable to attend a fitness facility, according to data platform fitNdata.
Opinion: Ensuring members return after lockdown
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass partners with Wexer to launch on-demand workouts for operators
Gympass has launched Gympass Plus - including an on-demand platform powered by Wexer - for its 2,200+ operator partners. The platform comprises more than 500 workouts from 18 content providers including Zumba and Gaiam.
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Wattbike
Wattbike is the creator of the world’s most advanced and innovative indoor bikes, developed in ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Myzone Group Ltd
At Myzone we reward Effort to solve the pervasive problem of ‘diminishing motivation within exercisers’ ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness equipment
Healthcheck Services Ltd: Fitness equipment
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-31 Aug 2020
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
11-12 Oct 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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