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HEALTH & FITNESS

IN BRIEF

Interactive fitness room for Bradley Stoke

Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre in

Gloucestershire has opened a new interactive fitness room called Studio:Tech. The studio has been touted as the first in the UK to feature WebRacing, an exercise format which mixes a cardio routine with a fast-paced virtual game. Aimed at the teen market, gym members will be able to choose a WebRacing bike or rower and are "transformed" into a virtual character. They will then be able to race against each other in a virtual world while viewing the action as it unfolds on a big screen. Lisa Vyner, leisure operations manager at the centre, said: "To us this is about more than selling the same old workout message, this is about encouraging ongoing interaction, excitement and competition so that our customers get fit without noticing how hard they are working."

Factory expands gym space

The Factory Gym and Dance Club in Holloway, north London, is expanding its facilities and adding more classes over the Easter period. The centre, owned and operated by Julian Aston, will add a range of equipment supplied by Star Trac to its existing kit. The additions include a 3D Max Rack, eSpinners and additional pulleys and leg presses. The club's selection of group and dance classes will also be widened. Aston told Leisure Opportunities that the club will begin hosting Zumba aerobics, cheerleading and Bollywood dancing due to increased demand. Aston added that the revamp has been planned to cater for the needs of a fast-growing membership. The club now has 500 full-time members, compared to 70 just two years ago.

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Fourth Fit4Less opens in Canterbury

Facilities at énergie's new budget club include 21 cv stations supplied by Precor

By Tom Walker

Health club operator énergie Fitness has opened its fourth Fit4Less budget club in Canterbury, Kent. The club, which cost around

£250,000 to set up, will be operated by a franchisee and offer the group's standard membership of £16.99 a month. Chief executive officer of the

énergie Group, Jan Spaticchia, said the club is one of a number of planned new openings for the chain. "This is a very exciting

concept that we believe will do well in this economic climate. “We are looking to continue

to introduce Fit4less to multiple towns and cities across Britain. "We aim to do this through

our successful franchise support scheme, which will empower people to own their

New boss for YMCAfit

Central YMCA has appointed Denise Page as the new executive director of its training division YMCA Fitness Industry Training (YMCAfit). Page will take up her

role in April 2010 and succeeds Robin Gargrave, who will be taking on the new post of director of innovation and develop- ment for central YMCA. Rosi Prescott, Central

YMCA's chief executive officer, said: "Denise is without doubt one of the most significant contribu- tors to the growth and impact of YMCA Fitness Industry Training."

Fit4Less is looking to expand into all major UK towns and cities

own business and be their own boss." The Fit4Less brand was

launched by énergie last year as part of efforts to tap into the expanding budget gym sector within the UK. David Weir, an énergie

spokesperson, said at the time of the launch that the company was reacting to customers' needs. "In the current circumstances,

premium products and services are becoming less viable," he said. “As consumers become

increasingly cautious about their spending habits. The same is true of investors with their own funds. We believe Fit4Less, with its consumer focussed approach, combined with the relatively low entry level investment will prove appealing to franchisees."

TwentyTen preparing for launch

By Tom Walker

After 250 hours of debate, involving more than 60 of the industry's leading innovators, the TwentyTen Commission Report has started to take shape prior its launch to the fitness industry. Speaking at the TwentyTen

workshop held earlier this month, David Stalker, Fitness Industry Association's (FIA) executive director, said: "In the 20 years the FIA has been in existence, we have never undertaken anything as ambitious as this Commission. "We've never asked strategic

questions about our future and we've never attempted to identify what our future needs

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The FIA is looking to identify future trends, such as dance

will be. If we know these, then we can develop the strategies required to address them. "This Commission is about our

industry being masters of its own fate. It's about identifying the key potential areas of growth and assessing what we need to do to get from where are to where we want to be."

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