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Core Health & Fitness
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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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 UK government has published its impact report for the three-tier COVID-19 alert system, which ...
Latest News
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, has said exercise and physical activity ...
Latest News
Nick Whitcombe, the independent gym owner who refused to shut his gym during the October ...
Latest News
This year's UK government Spending Review, announced in Parliament by chancellor Rishi Sunak on 25 ...
Latest News
Up to 100k people will benefit from the free gym and physical activity sessions, thanks ...
Latest News
To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, ...
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Closing gyms and leisure facilities during any possible future lockdown would be "unthinkable", according to ...
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Anytime Fitness, the UK’s leading 24/7 high-spec gym operator, has partnered with Gympass to give its corporate members access to over 170 clubs across UK and Ireland.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Not all fitness content is equal
With the launch of 22 SERIES, a pioneering, new cardio line powered by iFit® – the world’s leading on-demand fitness streaming platform – Freemotion Fitness aims to change the way we think about – and deliver – fitness content to truly engage members.
Video Gallery
Freemotion CoachBike™
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Give your members the immersive cycling experience that keeps your members engaged – today and tomorrow. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
Company profiles
Company profile: MiE FitQuest
FitQuest (MiE Medical Research) are specialists in the field of human performance measurement. We have ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
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Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
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Diary dates
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Virtual,
Diary dates
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Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
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