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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People profile: Edwina Brocklesby

Founder of Silverfit

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 11
Brocklesby started running aged 50 and did an Ironman triathlon at 72 / PHOTO: SUSANNE HAKUBA
Brocklesby started running aged 50 and did an Ironman triathlon at 72 / PHOTO: SUSANNE HAKUBA
For gyms looking to engage with this demographic, they need to make socialising part of the mix… they at least need to have somewhere where they can offer people a cup of tea after the class

What is Silverfit?
We’re a charity offering a variety of exercise opportunities to the over 45s, including Nordic walking, tai chi, pilates and cheerleading. Our core message is that it’s never too late to start exercise.

We go into areas of economic deprivation, where we know we can make a difference. Currently, we run activities in 13 venues in eight London boroughs. Last year we had 18,000 attendances, of these 17 per cent said they were completely inactive before they joined and 56 per cent were doing no more than 60 minutes of exercise each week. Now 60 per cent of our members exercise for 90 minutes or more each week.

Why did you start Silverfit?
I’m a former social worker who started running at 50. At the age of 72, I became Britain’s oldest woman to complete an Ironman triathlon. I came to sport late, but then realised its many benefits in terms of health and alleviating social isolation.

Silverfit evolved in 2013, out of a fundraising marathon I used to organise. We started running events in Hyde Park and then Burgess Park in Southwark followed. So far it has just grown organically.

How are you funded?
We try and offer the sessions for free. Even our paid sessions never cost more than £3 as we don’t want affordability to ever be a barrier to participation. We’ve received funding from various sources – the most significant coming from United Saint Saviour’s Charity in Southwark for £45,700 over two years.

We’ve recently been chosen by the London Marathon as one of their charities to work with on their new initiative, The Big Half. We’re hoping that it will yield sufficient income to fund a management post to take the charity forward. Currently we’re looking for people to take up charity places on our behalf: they can walk it or enter it as a team.

What is the key to engaging more with an older demographic?
Using older instructors and making the sessions fun and sociable. We always offer the opportunity to socialise before and after the session. We do a lot of data collection about people’s motivation and overwhelmingly the aspect which keeps people coming back is the social element.

Although people don’t tend to admit it when they first join, many older people are socially isolated and making friends is as important as the exercise to them.

For gyms looking to engage with this demographic, they need to make socialising part of the mix. If the venue doesn’t have a café, they at least need to have somewhere where they can offer people a cup of tea after the class.

How could the health and fitness industry engage with what you are doing?
In the future we want to expand with more activities and more people, so it would be great to work in partnership with more facilities to promote fitness for older people. This is something that we’re currently working on in south London, with Better, and will be expanding on going forward.

In the meantime, it would be great if operators could encourage their members to enter The Big Half to help raise money for us!

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https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/78564_600907.jpg
Britain’s oldest female Ironman triathlete talks about her charity, Silverfit, and how to best engage the older market
Edwina Brocklesby, Founder of Silverfit,Edwina Brocklesby, Silverfit, Ironman triathlete,
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features

People profile: Edwina Brocklesby

Founder of Silverfit

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 11
Brocklesby started running aged 50 and did an Ironman triathlon at 72 / PHOTO: SUSANNE HAKUBA
Brocklesby started running aged 50 and did an Ironman triathlon at 72 / PHOTO: SUSANNE HAKUBA
For gyms looking to engage with this demographic, they need to make socialising part of the mix… they at least need to have somewhere where they can offer people a cup of tea after the class

What is Silverfit?
We’re a charity offering a variety of exercise opportunities to the over 45s, including Nordic walking, tai chi, pilates and cheerleading. Our core message is that it’s never too late to start exercise.

We go into areas of economic deprivation, where we know we can make a difference. Currently, we run activities in 13 venues in eight London boroughs. Last year we had 18,000 attendances, of these 17 per cent said they were completely inactive before they joined and 56 per cent were doing no more than 60 minutes of exercise each week. Now 60 per cent of our members exercise for 90 minutes or more each week.

Why did you start Silverfit?
I’m a former social worker who started running at 50. At the age of 72, I became Britain’s oldest woman to complete an Ironman triathlon. I came to sport late, but then realised its many benefits in terms of health and alleviating social isolation.

Silverfit evolved in 2013, out of a fundraising marathon I used to organise. We started running events in Hyde Park and then Burgess Park in Southwark followed. So far it has just grown organically.

How are you funded?
We try and offer the sessions for free. Even our paid sessions never cost more than £3 as we don’t want affordability to ever be a barrier to participation. We’ve received funding from various sources – the most significant coming from United Saint Saviour’s Charity in Southwark for £45,700 over two years.

We’ve recently been chosen by the London Marathon as one of their charities to work with on their new initiative, The Big Half. We’re hoping that it will yield sufficient income to fund a management post to take the charity forward. Currently we’re looking for people to take up charity places on our behalf: they can walk it or enter it as a team.

What is the key to engaging more with an older demographic?
Using older instructors and making the sessions fun and sociable. We always offer the opportunity to socialise before and after the session. We do a lot of data collection about people’s motivation and overwhelmingly the aspect which keeps people coming back is the social element.

Although people don’t tend to admit it when they first join, many older people are socially isolated and making friends is as important as the exercise to them.

For gyms looking to engage with this demographic, they need to make socialising part of the mix. If the venue doesn’t have a café, they at least need to have somewhere where they can offer people a cup of tea after the class.

How could the health and fitness industry engage with what you are doing?
In the future we want to expand with more activities and more people, so it would be great to work in partnership with more facilities to promote fitness for older people. This is something that we’re currently working on in south London, with Better, and will be expanding on going forward.

In the meantime, it would be great if operators could encourage their members to enter The Big Half to help raise money for us!

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/78564_600907.jpg
Britain’s oldest female Ironman triathlete talks about her charity, Silverfit, and how to best engage the older market
Edwina Brocklesby, Founder of Silverfit,Edwina Brocklesby, Silverfit, Ironman triathlete,
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UK Health clubs, gyms, hotels, pubs and other leisure businesses will all receive a 50 ...
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Fitness First UK has changed its pricing structure and is now offering a flexible membership ...
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Boutique operator 1Rebel has launched its first 1Rebel Labs Studio at its club in Holborn. ...
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The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the UK government to invest £875m in ...
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Anthony Hamilton, the father of F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton, is launching a fitness equipment ...
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The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1 ...
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Featured supplier news: Power Plate teams up with Myzone for a new exercise experience
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences and the opportunity to offer rewards based on effort, every time they move.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Surge integrates Fisikal with HubSpot to drive business efficiencies and grow revenue
As Surge expands its offer with the launch of a third dedicated Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) studio this summer – this time in Fleet Street, London – the brand reflects on the vital role of its estate wide digital ecosystem, created in partnership with Fisikal, designed to drive business efficiencies and commercial success.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Sporting heroes to officially open £22 million redevelopment at Everyone Active centre
A £22 million redevelopment project will be unveiled at Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre, as part of the official launch of the state-of-the-art centre.
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
With science and innovation at its core, Freemotion questions how we work out and then ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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