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fi a board 2010
ROB BARKER – representative for industry suppliers
BLANE DODDS – representative for sport and leisure trusts
HEATHER FRANKHAM – representative for educational providers
JOHN GAMBLE – representative for multi-site operators
GRAEME HINDE – representative for public sector operators
ANDY JACKSON – vice chair
ROBIN JOHNSON – representative for multi-site operators
NIKI KEENE – representative for multi-site operators
NEIL KING – representative for leisure management contractors
SCOTT LLOYD – representative for multi-site operators
TONY MAJAKAS – representative for industry suppliers
STEPHEN STUDD – representative for SkillsActive
HARM TEGELAARS – treasurer and EU representative
FRED TUROK – chair
DAVE WRIGHT – representative for single-site operators
PRS, employment issues and new
legislation, and general business advice.
For many independent operators,
fi tness is a vocation rather than a
business: they don’t always know what
.COM/KZENON
they should be doing, which could T
O
potentially get them into trouble. For
example, there was a tragedy at an
OCKPHO
independent gym recently where a piece
©IST
of equipment fell on a member, hit him
on the bridge of the nose and killed him.
The owner of the gym hadn’t undertaken
a risk assessment, didn’t know anything
about servicing, and didn’t have any
health and safety guidelines or a pre-
activity questionnaire. That tragedy may
have been prevented if the owner of the
gym had been part of a support network
that informed him on these issues.
Independent operators don’t always
want to spend money on things
like a legally drawn-up pre-activity
questionnaire, and this is an area where
the FIA can help, because it has already
invested in that sort of thing. A friendly service is one of the key advantages of the independent operator
But my job won’t be to sell the FIA
– it will be to make sure the FIA is One of the things they’re good at, the benefits of exercise, with a phone
the voice of the independent sector. though, is connecting with people number people can call to find their
There’s a lot happening in the run-up to and providing a personal touch. This nearest FIA club. I personally believe the
the 2012 Olympics, and I want to make approach – non-trendy but very FIA could fund that. If 3,000 clubs were
sure I’m at the coalface when decisions friendly – is attractive to many people. to pay an extra £10 a month, that’s
are made and government handouts are Independents are nearly always priced £30,000 a month, or £360,000 a year,
awarded, so the independents are at better, too. However, one of the threats dedicated to promoting exercise on TV.
the front of the line too. facing the sector are the low-cost The FIA is also lobbying government
clubs from Europe and the US, which to make company gym membership
Q
W

hat’s the state of the are coming in offering membership at tax-deductible. Currently – even though
independent sector now? £9 a month with no contract. This is they’re doing something that will save the
In the UK, many people still think of the assimilating the independents’ market. NHS, and the economy, money – both
health club industry as being split into employer and employee are taxed. But
upmarket chains on one side, and spit
and sawdust clubs on the other. I want Q
W

hat else should the FIA MPs are already listening more and now,
be looking at? with the Olympics, there’s the potential
to raise the standard of the independent Across the board, what really needs to to move forward. This is a time for the
health club operations. I’m not saying all be done – irrespective of whether it’s industry to be united, not fragmented.
independent operators need to pull chains or independents – is educating the
their socks up, but I do think many could public to exercise. Ideally we want to kath hudson
benefit from sound business advice. turn on the TV and see adverts showing healthclub@leisuremedia.com
february 2010 © cybertrek 2010 Read Health Club Management online 47
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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