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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

Editor's letter: Getting reclassified

Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It’s time to accelerate the fight to change this by creating a new vocabulary to define what we do, why it matters and how we can contribute

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 9
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We’re arguing that the fitness industry needs to get itself ‘reclassifed’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it

The unity of the industry in the UK over the last few weeks has been incredible. Operators, trade bodies and stakeholders have worked as one to win the battle to keep gyms open in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Part of the urgency felt by everyone involved has been a passionate belief that we are being misunderstood and incorrectly classified as a sector by government.

One point which brought this home was the inclusion of gyms in the same bracket as strip clubs during the government’s secondary lockdown planning.

We’re arguing the sector needs to get itself ‘reclassified’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it, so there’s no doubt as to our intentions and value.

We’re advocating the industry adopts the term ‘regulated’, and uses it to describe and define what we do.

Operators have invested huge sums in the software and systems needed to run COVID-secure facilities and the levels of regulation we’re able to deliver have been proven to be sufficient to keep our customers safe.

Logic and evidence suggest the virus is mainly spreading in unregulated environments, such as homes, so in referring to ourselves as regulated, we’re putting the industry firmly in the category of operations that are helping to reduce the spread of the virus and keep people safe.

It’s also a ‘futureproof’ term recognised by government and puts us in the same bracket as trusted sectors such as financial services, the law, airlines and utilities.

We must also fight to become recognised as an essential service, something ukactive has been lobbying hard for.

There are other terms we must adopt too. Decisionmakers in the NHS see their responsibilities as being related to ‘protection’ and ‘prevention’, with gyms currently filed firmly in the prevention category.

Given the pandemic is bringing protection to the fore as the priority for the NHS, our potential to contribute – via our work on prevention – is currently reduced.

We must argue that as a regulated sector which has proven it can operate in a COVID-secure way, we are also able to contribute to the NHS’s protection work, thereby showing we can deliver in relation to both prevention and protection.

If we can control the vocabulary, we can engage more powerfully with the government and the medical sector for the delivery of things such as COVID-19 recovery programmes and earn recognition for our professionalism.

The reputation management work done this year by the sector has brought us forward decades. The opportunity now is to nail this down by accurately defining ourselves and creating a consumer-facing kitemark to build trust.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/673233_648557.jpg
'Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It's time we accelerate the fight to change this' says HCM editor Liz Terry
Liz Terry, NHS,COVID-19, lockdown, fitness industry
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With many older people in crisis due to the pandemic, ukactive’s head of health and wellbeing development, Kenny Butler, explains why the organisation is launching an active ageing consultation and how you can get involved
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Our road map is to manage leisure facilities, developing them into community hubs and ensuring the most in need get the most support
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Research
New research from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, has established why people who exercise when suffering from cancer generally have better outcomes
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The great debate
Given its support for the NHS, should the fitness industry be classified as an essential service, and if so, how do we get the sector reclassified? Kath Hudson asks industry leaders for their views
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Butt, bottom, booty, bum – whatever you call it, working the backside is a vital part of the balance, power and wellbeing equation and has been ignored for too long, as Tom Tawell reports
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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, ...
Latest News
Closing gyms and leisure facilities during any possible future lockdown would be "unthinkable", according to ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The Shredquarters partners with Physical Company to underpin expansion plans
Functional training gym, The Shredquarters, has moved into franchising, partnering with Physical Company to support its rapid growth.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Converting members in January has never been so simple with Volution’s new Lead Generation tool
Volution – the leading data solutions specialist for the fitness industry – has launched a Lead Generation tool that enables operators to harness the power of mobile technology and cloud-based infrastructure to streamline sales.
Company profiles
Company profile: DFC
DFC
At DFC, we offer totally transparent revenue management solutions with clear pricing and no hidden ...
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
09 Dec 2020
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
Diary dates

features

Editor's letter: Getting reclassified

Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It’s time to accelerate the fight to change this by creating a new vocabulary to define what we do, why it matters and how we can contribute

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 9
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We must fight to become a trusted sector / Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
We’re arguing that the fitness industry needs to get itself ‘reclassifed’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it

The unity of the industry in the UK over the last few weeks has been incredible. Operators, trade bodies and stakeholders have worked as one to win the battle to keep gyms open in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Part of the urgency felt by everyone involved has been a passionate belief that we are being misunderstood and incorrectly classified as a sector by government.

One point which brought this home was the inclusion of gyms in the same bracket as strip clubs during the government’s secondary lockdown planning.

We’re arguing the sector needs to get itself ‘reclassified’, by taking charge of the vocabulary used to define it, so there’s no doubt as to our intentions and value.

We’re advocating the industry adopts the term ‘regulated’, and uses it to describe and define what we do.

Operators have invested huge sums in the software and systems needed to run COVID-secure facilities and the levels of regulation we’re able to deliver have been proven to be sufficient to keep our customers safe.

Logic and evidence suggest the virus is mainly spreading in unregulated environments, such as homes, so in referring to ourselves as regulated, we’re putting the industry firmly in the category of operations that are helping to reduce the spread of the virus and keep people safe.

It’s also a ‘futureproof’ term recognised by government and puts us in the same bracket as trusted sectors such as financial services, the law, airlines and utilities.

We must also fight to become recognised as an essential service, something ukactive has been lobbying hard for.

There are other terms we must adopt too. Decisionmakers in the NHS see their responsibilities as being related to ‘protection’ and ‘prevention’, with gyms currently filed firmly in the prevention category.

Given the pandemic is bringing protection to the fore as the priority for the NHS, our potential to contribute – via our work on prevention – is currently reduced.

We must argue that as a regulated sector which has proven it can operate in a COVID-secure way, we are also able to contribute to the NHS’s protection work, thereby showing we can deliver in relation to both prevention and protection.

If we can control the vocabulary, we can engage more powerfully with the government and the medical sector for the delivery of things such as COVID-19 recovery programmes and earn recognition for our professionalism.

The reputation management work done this year by the sector has brought us forward decades. The opportunity now is to nail this down by accurately defining ourselves and creating a consumer-facing kitemark to build trust.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/673233_648557.jpg
'Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It's time we accelerate the fight to change this' says HCM editor Liz Terry
Liz Terry, NHS,COVID-19, lockdown, fitness industry
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, ...
Latest News
Closing gyms and leisure facilities during any possible future lockdown would be "unthinkable", according to ...
Latest News
The University of Stirling has opened its new £20m sports and fitness centre. The building, ...
Latest News
Gyms are right near the bottom of the list in terms of places people have ...
Latest News
A new, Europe-wide initiative will look to chart the level of risk of COVID-19 infection ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The Shredquarters partners with Physical Company to underpin expansion plans
Functional training gym, The Shredquarters, has moved into franchising, partnering with Physical Company to support its rapid growth.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Converting members in January has never been so simple with Volution’s new Lead Generation tool
Volution – the leading data solutions specialist for the fitness industry – has launched a Lead Generation tool that enables operators to harness the power of mobile technology and cloud-based infrastructure to streamline sales.
Company profiles
Company profile: DFC
DFC
At DFC, we offer totally transparent revenue management solutions with clear pricing and no hidden ...
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
09 Dec 2020
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
Diary dates
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