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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People profile: Dan Morgan

Founder and creator of SpeedoFit

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 5
Morgan’s swimming app now has 400,000 users worldwide
Morgan’s swimming app now has 400,000 users worldwide
It’s like Strava for swimmers. You can set goals, track swims, challenge friends and connect with fellow swimmers

“Back in 2009, the websites of London-based pool operators weren’t great,” says Dan Morgan, founder of the world’s most popular swimming app. 

“I couldn’t fathom why – at a time when even Transport for London had made its travel information easy to get hold of – there was nowhere to find out information about swimming. Not being able to access timetables might only seem a small barrier, but it only takes small barriers to prevent people from doing exercise.”

Rather than lament the lack of a service, he set out to provide one. The iPhone 2 had just been launched and its capabilities were transforming a number of services – a fact that hadn’t gone unnoticed by Morgan. 

“The iPhone was becoming a part of people’s lives,” he says. “Developers were creating apps people could access from their pockets, so I decided to find out how it worked and create something using the iOS platform.”

In at the deep end
Morgan’s idea for an app was simple: allow people to find a pool and book a swim. There was only one problem – he didn’t know anything about coding.

“Rather than going back to college to learn to code, I bought some books and got my head around it,” he says. “It was an intense learning experience – it took a year and had me dreaming in iOS code – but by the end of that year, I had the nucleus of an app.”

Morgan entered his app, which he named SplashPath, into UK broadcaster Channel 4’s competition for young tech entrepreneurs. He won and secured £70,000-worth of funding for the project. This enabled him to employ a developer, improve the app’s functionality and bring SplashPath to market. 

As well offering a pool locator and timetables, the app is a motivational tool. “It’s like Strava for swimmers,” says Morgan. “You can set goals, track swims, challenge friends, comment and connect with fellow swimmers.”

At this stage, most people manually log their swim data into the app. But, Morgan says: “If you use the Speedo Shine – a tracker you wear on your arm, manufactured by Misfit – when you get out of the pool it synchs with SpeedoFit.”

Going global
In 2012, SplashPath was rebranded SpeedoFit after a chance meeting with representatives of the swimwear giant. Having a globally recognised name has since aided the app’s growth and it now has more than 400,000 users globally – from the US to China.

“We have a global pool database, so anyone in any country where they speak English can use the app. That said, in addition to English, the app is translated into French and simplified Chinese,” he says.

The next step, according to Morgan, is to literally take Speedofit into the pool. “We’re hoping the next Apple Watch is waterproof,” he says. “That will open new opportunities such as tracking heart rates and automatically charting swimming distances.” ?

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https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/748409_374492.jpg
Dan Morgan learnt to code to resolve his swimming problem
Dan Morgan , Founder and creator of SpeedoFit,Dan Morgan, swimming, SpeedoFit
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features

People profile: Dan Morgan

Founder and creator of SpeedoFit

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 5
Morgan’s swimming app now has 400,000 users worldwide
Morgan’s swimming app now has 400,000 users worldwide
It’s like Strava for swimmers. You can set goals, track swims, challenge friends and connect with fellow swimmers

“Back in 2009, the websites of London-based pool operators weren’t great,” says Dan Morgan, founder of the world’s most popular swimming app. 

“I couldn’t fathom why – at a time when even Transport for London had made its travel information easy to get hold of – there was nowhere to find out information about swimming. Not being able to access timetables might only seem a small barrier, but it only takes small barriers to prevent people from doing exercise.”

Rather than lament the lack of a service, he set out to provide one. The iPhone 2 had just been launched and its capabilities were transforming a number of services – a fact that hadn’t gone unnoticed by Morgan. 

“The iPhone was becoming a part of people’s lives,” he says. “Developers were creating apps people could access from their pockets, so I decided to find out how it worked and create something using the iOS platform.”

In at the deep end
Morgan’s idea for an app was simple: allow people to find a pool and book a swim. There was only one problem – he didn’t know anything about coding.

“Rather than going back to college to learn to code, I bought some books and got my head around it,” he says. “It was an intense learning experience – it took a year and had me dreaming in iOS code – but by the end of that year, I had the nucleus of an app.”

Morgan entered his app, which he named SplashPath, into UK broadcaster Channel 4’s competition for young tech entrepreneurs. He won and secured £70,000-worth of funding for the project. This enabled him to employ a developer, improve the app’s functionality and bring SplashPath to market. 

As well offering a pool locator and timetables, the app is a motivational tool. “It’s like Strava for swimmers,” says Morgan. “You can set goals, track swims, challenge friends, comment and connect with fellow swimmers.”

At this stage, most people manually log their swim data into the app. But, Morgan says: “If you use the Speedo Shine – a tracker you wear on your arm, manufactured by Misfit – when you get out of the pool it synchs with SpeedoFit.”

Going global
In 2012, SplashPath was rebranded SpeedoFit after a chance meeting with representatives of the swimwear giant. Having a globally recognised name has since aided the app’s growth and it now has more than 400,000 users globally – from the US to China.

“We have a global pool database, so anyone in any country where they speak English can use the app. That said, in addition to English, the app is translated into French and simplified Chinese,” he says.

The next step, according to Morgan, is to literally take Speedofit into the pool. “We’re hoping the next Apple Watch is waterproof,” he says. “That will open new opportunities such as tracking heart rates and automatically charting swimming distances.” ?

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/748409_374492.jpg
Dan Morgan learnt to code to resolve his swimming problem
Dan Morgan , Founder and creator of SpeedoFit,Dan Morgan, swimming, SpeedoFit
Latest News
The Leisure Database Company (TLDB) has revealed its State of the Fitness Industry Report UK ...
Latest News
The Gym Group’s (TGG) plans and profit forecasts were presented to analysts and investors during ...
Latest News
A new physical activity programme called Big Sister has been launched in the UK to ...
Latest News
Go Fit has been selected by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as ...
Latest News
Ness, a US startup that is developing a range of wellness-driven credit cards, has launched ...
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Following a history of supporting US military and service members, F45 has announced a new ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Virtuagym raises €3m investment to fuel innovation in health and fitness technology
Global fitness technology provider Virtuagym has raised a new €3m investment from Icecat, an Amsterdam-based technology company which invests in innovative technology organisations.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Serco Leisure wins 10-year Mansfield contract
Following a competitive tendering process, Serco Leisure and its partner More Leisure Community Trust Limited (MLCT) have been awarded a 10-year contract by Mansfield District Council to operate three centres in the town, starting 1 May 2022.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Quoox
With more than 200 integrated features, Quoox is confident there is a solution for every ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Myzone
It’s time to give more people more ways to move. Myzone is an innovative heart ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
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Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Runcorn
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Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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