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group during the day. Run by volunteers Good value Apartment owners receive who own apartments in the
from the community, these range from free membership to the health club development receive free membership
pool and bingo to painting and card for a year and tenants’ membership to the club for the fi rst year, and those
games. Seniors can also use the club’s is included in their service fee who rent apartments get Live and
fi tness facilities at a discounted rate and Leisure membership included in their
receive a 50 per cent discount on teas In addition to guaranteeing a busy club service costs,” Hendriks says.
and coffees. In return for access to the during the day, this arrangement with Such an agreement means that
club space, the association must provide the association frees up the space in the Hendriks is virtually guaranteed more
one volunteer a day to help around evening, meaning SLG can use it to run than 1,000 members from the residential
the facility – in the reception and bar, courses, such as mediation and yoga, for development but this, he says, is not
for example, or in the small shop that the paying public. an excuse to get sloppy. Running a
supplies everyday staples such as bread, successful health club is, he adds, all
cereal, milk and coffee. adding value about adding value and giving something
This clever combination attracts Launched in April 2008, Live and Leisure back to members. This is why members
hundreds of seniors from the local needs 1,500 members to break even. It at Live and Leisure can expect free fruit
community to the club – people who currently has 1,600 members paying and the occasional treat in their lockers,
not only enjoy socialising with their between 50 and 60 a month, while such as free beauty packs. An agreement
peers and the opportunity to work in seniors pay approximately 40 a month. with the resident hairdresser means they
the facility, but who also hugely benefi t HealthCity, the rapidly expanding health receive a free hair cut once a year too.
from being in contact with the wider club chain, has recently opened a club “The little things are very important,”
community. “Some of these people feel within walking distance, which annoys says Hendriks. “Operators shouldn’t wait
very isolated and lonely, so they love Hendriks, but doesn’t worry him. The to hit diffi cult times to re-evaluate their
coming here and watching children take HealthCity club charges higher fees and businesses and improve their product.
part in their activities and chatting to doesn’t offer a pool, nor does it benefi t They should be doing it all the time.
families in the bar. It truly is a club for from SLG’s unique relationship with the “I can’t emphasise enough the
the community,” says Hendriks. local building corporation. “All those importance of communicating with your
members and making them feel special.
It’s something this industry likes to talk
about, but doesn’t do consistently. But if
we can achieve this, I think we will ride
out the recession.”
It’s evident that Hendriks has enjoyed
leading the Live and Leisure project and
fi nds its success as a community club
genuinely rewarding. But to date he
has refused all other offers to develop
similar projects. “Live and Leisure took
eight years to complete and I feel I need
a rest. And besides, none of these other
companies would let me have control
over the entire project. I might consider
it if I could be in charge though.” It
seems we may not have heard the last
from Hendriks.
Time to relax Facilities include a sauna, steam and spa pool suite
vicky kiernander
healthclub@leisuremedia.com
40 Read Health Club Management online january 2009 © cybertrek 2009
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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