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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

ukactive update: Time to act

Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director, offers his thoughts on an exciting time for the physical activity sector

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 5
Getting kids active has finally moved higher up the political agenda
Getting kids active has finally moved higher up the political agenda
There’s now an appetite to put in place the plans and programmes that can make a real difference on the ground

I’ll admit there’s a common theme that runs through my professional career: fortune. Whether it was working in the first Mayoralty of the newly devolved London City government, or the inspirational 2012 construction project of the Olympic Park, or for British Tennis during a time of historic success, I’ve been lucky. My timing has been good.

 And I do believe that fortune has served me well again. It’s great to have joined ukactive at a time when its role, and that of the sector it represents, is enjoying such relevance across a range of national issues. There are many national problems – inactivity levels across all ages, workplace health, skills and workforce development – that this sector not only has an opinion on, but also a lead role in addressing.

Political gains
The national debate on inactivity is moving on. Where once the debate was around whether the crisis even existed, now there’s recognition and an urgent requirement for remedies and solutions. 

Nowhere has this been more evident than in the government’s radical sport strategy – a cross-departmental plan that places at its core the value of sport in addressing issues relating to inactivity. The recent comments by Sport England’s CEO Jennie Price’s regarding the “enormous role” that health clubs and gyms will play in this new approach highlight the huge opportunities for our sector.

The issue of childhood inactivity was also evident in the recent Budget, where the chancellor pledged an additional £520m for the school sports premium. This is fantastic news. We now need to look at how our sector, and the funding itself, can support the good work taking place in schools during the times when kids are out of school: the school holidays, for example, when parents are increasingly concerned that their kids’ time will be spent in front of the TV or playing computer games.

We have such an opportunity now, with extra funding promised to get children active, to make a real mark on wider health policy in the UK and to create political success stories that will stand our sector in good stead for years to come.

Maintaining momentum
But beyond ensuring that more funding comes down from the central pot for activity promotion, we must also ensure we’re getting the most out of the existing funding – for example, putting in place more robust evaluation structures for the Primary Premium to prove its impact, or building broader coalitions of like-minded organisations and providers that want the same thing: to get children moving more.

We have already made great inroads over recent years, raising the profile of activity and fitness for young people and pushing health and wellbeing up a crowded political and media agenda. But now there’s a real sense of action – an appetite to put in place the plans and programmes that can make a real difference on the ground – and we must capitalise on this.

So the ambition is that over this parliament, and also the next one, activity stays high on the agenda of our political leaders. If we can manage to build a coalition of political support that elevates this major issue above the party political knock-about, then hopefully more progress can be made. 

It’s a great challenge and I feel very excited, and fortunate, to have a chance to play my part. ?

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https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/244892_230861.jpg
Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director, offers his thoughts on an exciting time for the activity sector
Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director,Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director, activity sector
HCM magazine
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features

ukactive update: Time to act

Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director, offers his thoughts on an exciting time for the physical activity sector

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 5
Getting kids active has finally moved higher up the political agenda
Getting kids active has finally moved higher up the political agenda
There’s now an appetite to put in place the plans and programmes that can make a real difference on the ground

I’ll admit there’s a common theme that runs through my professional career: fortune. Whether it was working in the first Mayoralty of the newly devolved London City government, or the inspirational 2012 construction project of the Olympic Park, or for British Tennis during a time of historic success, I’ve been lucky. My timing has been good.

 And I do believe that fortune has served me well again. It’s great to have joined ukactive at a time when its role, and that of the sector it represents, is enjoying such relevance across a range of national issues. There are many national problems – inactivity levels across all ages, workplace health, skills and workforce development – that this sector not only has an opinion on, but also a lead role in addressing.

Political gains
The national debate on inactivity is moving on. Where once the debate was around whether the crisis even existed, now there’s recognition and an urgent requirement for remedies and solutions. 

Nowhere has this been more evident than in the government’s radical sport strategy – a cross-departmental plan that places at its core the value of sport in addressing issues relating to inactivity. The recent comments by Sport England’s CEO Jennie Price’s regarding the “enormous role” that health clubs and gyms will play in this new approach highlight the huge opportunities for our sector.

The issue of childhood inactivity was also evident in the recent Budget, where the chancellor pledged an additional £520m for the school sports premium. This is fantastic news. We now need to look at how our sector, and the funding itself, can support the good work taking place in schools during the times when kids are out of school: the school holidays, for example, when parents are increasingly concerned that their kids’ time will be spent in front of the TV or playing computer games.

We have such an opportunity now, with extra funding promised to get children active, to make a real mark on wider health policy in the UK and to create political success stories that will stand our sector in good stead for years to come.

Maintaining momentum
But beyond ensuring that more funding comes down from the central pot for activity promotion, we must also ensure we’re getting the most out of the existing funding – for example, putting in place more robust evaluation structures for the Primary Premium to prove its impact, or building broader coalitions of like-minded organisations and providers that want the same thing: to get children moving more.

We have already made great inroads over recent years, raising the profile of activity and fitness for young people and pushing health and wellbeing up a crowded political and media agenda. But now there’s a real sense of action – an appetite to put in place the plans and programmes that can make a real difference on the ground – and we must capitalise on this.

So the ambition is that over this parliament, and also the next one, activity stays high on the agenda of our political leaders. If we can manage to build a coalition of political support that elevates this major issue above the party political knock-about, then hopefully more progress can be made. 

It’s a great challenge and I feel very excited, and fortunate, to have a chance to play my part. ?

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/244892_230861.jpg
Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director, offers his thoughts on an exciting time for the activity sector
Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director,Huw Edwards, ukactive’s public affairs director, activity sector
Latest News
Industry body ukactive has joined the chorus of organisations across a number of sectors calling ...
Latest News
German fitness operator BestFit Group has acquired regional gym chain EuroFit for an undisclosed sum. ...
Latest News
The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due ...
Latest News
Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show ...
Latest News
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of ...
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Xponential Fitness has completed its initial public offering (IPO), becoming the second major franchised operator ...
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The Gym Group has extended its partnership with digital fitness platform Fiit, becoming the first ...
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Featured supplier news: How are hundreds of gym operators suddenly saving a lot of money for doing a lot less work?
Let’s talk about Orbit4 – the secret behind successful gyms.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: FunXtion enhance interactive workouts with the launch of Virtual Player
Digital meets personal with the new Virtual Player from FunXtion, experts in interactive fitness, which allows clubs to stream and schedule world class virtual classes anytime, providing an interactive workout experience on the gym floor, functional area or directly to members at home via an app.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
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.
Company profiles
Company profile: InBody UK
InBody provides products that are accurate, medically rated holding a CE mark and certified to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Art of Cryo
Art of Cryo is a new division of a renowned family business with 30 years’ ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
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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