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press release: CoverMe Ltd

New research reveals wide impact of short-notice group exercise cover

05 Sep 2023
Sourcing high-quality freelance cover when instructors fall sick or are absent is one of the most significant challenges faced by club managers / CoverMe
A series of new research projects have shed light on the significant challenges faced by leisure operators and group exercise instructors in finding short-notice cover for classes, as well as its impact on members.

One study, conducted by Leisure-net Solutions on behalf of on-demand group exercise cover app, CoverMe, finds that sourcing high-quality freelance cover when instructors fall sick or are absent is one of the most significant challenges faced by club managers. The task not only consumes hours each week but often results in class disruption and cancellations, which are detrimental to both operators and their customers.

Another survey conducted by EMD UK found that group exercise instructors avoid taking time off due to the stress of finding cover, with almost a quarter of instructors (24%) juggling up to seven different WhatsApp and social groups for the different classes they teach.

According to Leisure-net’s Operator Report, a staggering 63% of leisure operators offering group exercise programmes reported spending valuable time each week trying to source replacement instructors to cover classes and prevent cancellations that would disappoint their customers. Even more concerning, nearly one-fifth of operators (17%) said they have to allocate time every single day to find class cover.

Despite their best efforts, operators often face difficulties in securing adequate replacement instructors, leading to unavoidable class cancellations or changes. In fact, 41% of operators are forced to cancel or change their group exercise classes every week due to their inability to find suitable cover.

The impact of disrupted and cancelled classes are far reaching. Researchers also surveyed individuals who had participated in group exercise classes within the last six months and found that a third (33%) regularly or quite often experienced disruptions or cancellations to their classes. As a result, 36% of participants stated they would not recommend a club to a friend if they encountered frequent disruptions to the group exercise timetable, while 16% said they would cancel their club membership altogether.

Very often, finding class cover falls to the instructor themselves in the event of illness or holidays. This means calling in favours from their instructor colleagues or posting messages in WhatsApp and other social groups, all of which is very time-consuming. As a result, more than half (54%) of instructors say they simply avoid taking time off, while half (49%) say they find the process stressful.

Failing to find cover has significant implications for instructors. In most cases, classes are simply cancelled causing instructors to lose income. Beyond this, many instructors worry that failing to find class cover risks letting participants down, losing customers and damaging their reputation.

Sue Wilkie, Head of Instructor Support at EMD UK says: “It’s hardly surprising that group exercise instructors feel so stressed about finding cover for their classes when they are sick or go on holiday. Research shows that half of instructors regularly view one to three different social groups when trying to source cover, while 7% keep track of eight to 14 social groups. And almost a quarter of instructors (23%) say they don’t know where to source cover, which increases the risk of class cancellations and is clearly bad news for instructors, clubs and clients.”

Today’s operators benefit from advances in technology in almost all areas of club management, yet when it comes to sourcing freelance instructors, managers still rely largely on substitute instructor lists and seeking help from other instructors through messaging platforms like WhatsApp. Very often, club managers are forced to accept whatever cover is available, rather than the ideal cover that would ensure a great member experience. The CoverMe App’s algorithm matches inspirational, qualified and insured freelance instructors, vetted by CoverMe’s own in-house team, with gyms and studios, factoring in skills, proximity and availability – all in real time – so managers can source and book class cover in less than 30 seconds.

“Sourcing high quality group exercise cover is one of the most time-consuming and challenging aspects of club management. That’s why we are delighted to be working with an increasing number of club operators, including Nuffield Health, Serco and BXR, to solve this problem, improve efficiency, enhance member satisfaction and eliminate the frustration and operational time consuming activity of class changes,” says Rosanna Tucker, CEO of CoverMe.
More press releases and updates from CoverMe Ltd:
Running more than 200 group exercise classes across three sites every week presents challenges, especially when superstar instructors fall ill or take a holiday.
As an instructor with more than 20 years’ experience under her belt, Syreeta Stracey knows only too well the struggles of finding cover when she’s unwell or a holiday means she cannot take her regular classes. Being introduced to the CoverMe app has changed that.
In 2020, 36-year-old Aparna started teaching yoga in her home country of India, following a successful 10-year career as an actress and model and a two-year stint as a flight attendant with Qatar Airways.
CoverMe Fitness, a new, free on-demand group exercise class cover app, allows freelance instructors to find work when and where they want by matching inspirational, qualified, insured instructors with gyms and studios.
A new on-demand group exercise class cover app, CoverMe Fitness, is set to revolutionise the fitness industry, allowing club managers to source the best freelance exercise instructors in less than 30 seconds.
CoverMe Ltd: featured in HCM and Fit Tech magazines
Our ambitions are to expand globally to introduce Studio Society to key markets, reshaping fitness paradigms
CoverMe Ltd
Tel: 07891 503525
Address: 5 Hyde Road , Paignton, Devon, TQ4 5BW, England
Louise Crossland, head of commercial
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CoverMe Ltd press release: New research reveals wide impact of short-notice group exercise cover
A series of new research projects have shed light on the significant challenges faced by leisure operators and group exercise instructors in finding short-notice cover for classes, as well as its impact on members.
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press release: CoverMe Ltd

New research reveals wide impact of short-notice group exercise cover

05 Sep 2023
Sourcing high-quality freelance cover when instructors fall sick or are absent is one of the most significant challenges faced by club managers / CoverMe
A series of new research projects have shed light on the significant challenges faced by leisure operators and group exercise instructors in finding short-notice cover for classes, as well as its impact on members.

One study, conducted by Leisure-net Solutions on behalf of on-demand group exercise cover app, CoverMe, finds that sourcing high-quality freelance cover when instructors fall sick or are absent is one of the most significant challenges faced by club managers. The task not only consumes hours each week but often results in class disruption and cancellations, which are detrimental to both operators and their customers.

Another survey conducted by EMD UK found that group exercise instructors avoid taking time off due to the stress of finding cover, with almost a quarter of instructors (24%) juggling up to seven different WhatsApp and social groups for the different classes they teach.

According to Leisure-net’s Operator Report, a staggering 63% of leisure operators offering group exercise programmes reported spending valuable time each week trying to source replacement instructors to cover classes and prevent cancellations that would disappoint their customers. Even more concerning, nearly one-fifth of operators (17%) said they have to allocate time every single day to find class cover.

Despite their best efforts, operators often face difficulties in securing adequate replacement instructors, leading to unavoidable class cancellations or changes. In fact, 41% of operators are forced to cancel or change their group exercise classes every week due to their inability to find suitable cover.

The impact of disrupted and cancelled classes are far reaching. Researchers also surveyed individuals who had participated in group exercise classes within the last six months and found that a third (33%) regularly or quite often experienced disruptions or cancellations to their classes. As a result, 36% of participants stated they would not recommend a club to a friend if they encountered frequent disruptions to the group exercise timetable, while 16% said they would cancel their club membership altogether.

Very often, finding class cover falls to the instructor themselves in the event of illness or holidays. This means calling in favours from their instructor colleagues or posting messages in WhatsApp and other social groups, all of which is very time-consuming. As a result, more than half (54%) of instructors say they simply avoid taking time off, while half (49%) say they find the process stressful.

Failing to find cover has significant implications for instructors. In most cases, classes are simply cancelled causing instructors to lose income. Beyond this, many instructors worry that failing to find class cover risks letting participants down, losing customers and damaging their reputation.

Sue Wilkie, Head of Instructor Support at EMD UK says: “It’s hardly surprising that group exercise instructors feel so stressed about finding cover for their classes when they are sick or go on holiday. Research shows that half of instructors regularly view one to three different social groups when trying to source cover, while 7% keep track of eight to 14 social groups. And almost a quarter of instructors (23%) say they don’t know where to source cover, which increases the risk of class cancellations and is clearly bad news for instructors, clubs and clients.”

Today’s operators benefit from advances in technology in almost all areas of club management, yet when it comes to sourcing freelance instructors, managers still rely largely on substitute instructor lists and seeking help from other instructors through messaging platforms like WhatsApp. Very often, club managers are forced to accept whatever cover is available, rather than the ideal cover that would ensure a great member experience. The CoverMe App’s algorithm matches inspirational, qualified and insured freelance instructors, vetted by CoverMe’s own in-house team, with gyms and studios, factoring in skills, proximity and availability – all in real time – so managers can source and book class cover in less than 30 seconds.

“Sourcing high quality group exercise cover is one of the most time-consuming and challenging aspects of club management. That’s why we are delighted to be working with an increasing number of club operators, including Nuffield Health, Serco and BXR, to solve this problem, improve efficiency, enhance member satisfaction and eliminate the frustration and operational time consuming activity of class changes,” says Rosanna Tucker, CEO of CoverMe.
More press releases and updates from CoverMe Ltd:
Running more than 200 group exercise classes across three sites every week presents challenges, especially when superstar instructors fall ill or take a holiday.
As an instructor with more than 20 years’ experience under her belt, Syreeta Stracey knows only too well the struggles of finding cover when she’s unwell or a holiday means she cannot take her regular classes. Being introduced to the CoverMe app has changed that.
In 2020, 36-year-old Aparna started teaching yoga in her home country of India, following a successful 10-year career as an actress and model and a two-year stint as a flight attendant with Qatar Airways.
CoverMe Fitness, a new, free on-demand group exercise class cover app, allows freelance instructors to find work when and where they want by matching inspirational, qualified, insured instructors with gyms and studios.
A new on-demand group exercise class cover app, CoverMe Fitness, is set to revolutionise the fitness industry, allowing club managers to source the best freelance exercise instructors in less than 30 seconds.
CoverMe Ltd: featured in HCM and Fit Tech magazines
Our ambitions are to expand globally to introduce Studio Society to key markets, reshaping fitness paradigms
CoverMe Ltd
Tel: 07891 503525
Address: 5 Hyde Road , Paignton, Devon, TQ4 5BW, England
Louise Crossland, head of commercial
CoverMe Ltd video gallery:
Key personnel
Rosanna Tucker, co-founder and CEO
Beverlee Brinkworth, co-founder and COO
Louise Crossland, head of commercial
Shey Shehovich, brand ambassador
Edith Meredith, head of onboarding
Key customers
All venues, from boutique studios to big-box fitness sites.
Multi facility clubs have also asked us to assist them with the recruitment, retention and cover for other staff including swim coaches, sports coaches and lifeguards.
We have also attracted fitness modelling companies and fitness film studios.
Plans for the next 12 months
Our aim is to transform the delivery of group exercise, raise industry standards and to create a thriving community of exercise professionals of the highest calibre.
Over the next year we will be expanding our reach across the UK in geographical regions, with the aim of establishing the largest network of group exercise professionals, sports coaches, swim coaches etc of any platform. Within the first year we also expect to roll out the app to North America and Canada.
Testimonial
“This is a fantastic concept and exactly what all class operators need to enhance efficiency, member satisfaction levels and avoid the frustration of classes being cancelled or changed at short notice.”
– John Treharne, founder, The Gym Group and executive chair and non-executive director, CoverMe
Testimonial
"The advancement of technology puts everything at our fingertips 24/7: food, fashion, and fast cars. And now the same is true for group exercise instructors - CoverMe is the ‘Uber' of class subbing.”
– Emma Barry, co-founder, Good Soul Hunting and non-executive director, CoverMe
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