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dutch market


Speed of service, and ultimately a


client’s recovery, is key to the Feelgood Company offering, and the goal is to have everyone assessed within 48 hours – a signifi cant improvement on waiting times at local hospitals. Vahle is also negotiating with a number of hospitals to allow his clients fast-track entry should specialist treatment be required. Ultimately the goal is to have


everything available on-site at Amstelhof within the next year to 18 months –


Top operators – by number of sites


• HealthCity – 82 clubs in the Netherlands, including 31 BasicFit sites, plus 40 clubs in Belgium and 22 in Germany • Sportcity – 42 clubs, including 24 Fit4Free sites (the latter continuing to operate under a separate brand) • Achmea – 30 owned clubs, plus 10 franchises • Fitness First – 23 clubs • Fitland – approximately 20 clubs • Laco – predominantly a swimming pool operator, 15 of its sites also include health clubs • Your Health – a budget operation with 10 clubs


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doctors, physios, sports doctors and so on, covering all mental and physical requirements – and a forthcoming refurbishment of the tennis court area will include the installation of permanent sports doctors’ surgeries. Wellnesselande was another


interesting site. The country’s largest club, it offered perhaps the most extensive range of services I’ve ever seen: from a cavernous room full of climbing walls to special padded-fl oored studios for classes such as yoga and Body Combat, and from a golf simulator suite and pilates equipment studio to a spa and professionally-run restaurant for use by members and non-members alike. What I found particularly interesting,


however, was the medical gym that sits alongside the main gym. Installed with the Life Fitness medical range of equipment, and with computers integrated into every piece of kit to precisely measure every movement, the gym is used for both treatment and preventative work, including group sessions for older members. Supervised exclusively by physios,


and run by a third party – Medical Wellness Centre – which rents the space from the club, nevertheless the two sides of the gym work closely together, with patients moved over to the main fi tness suite usually within four to 12 weeks. Access to the medical


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


Amstelhof, near Amsterdam, caters for all the family, but also offers integrated wellness to meet the needs of corporates


gym comes at an additional cost, but is covered by medical insurance. Taking this health insurance link


further, the Achmea chain – which sadly I didn’t visit during my trip – is a health and fi tness operation owned by the health insurance company of the same name. Currently expanding through acquisition and new site development, via both owned and franchised offerings, it is – according to Jan Middelkamp, former COO of HealthCity International and now CEO of HDD Group – one to watch. An interesting strategy, and one that goes beyond the current partnership-based ventures undertaken by the likes of Bupa in the UK, it will be interesting to see if Achmea’s success will prompt similar initiatives in the UK market.


defining the offering More of a conventional offering came in the shape of the Pellikaan club I visited in Breda. A refurbished former casino, the futuristic building now offers a very nicely laid-out, spacious gym equipped by Star Trac, Life Fitness, gym80 and Power Plate, while glass-fronted group exercise studios overlook the gym and


october 2010 © cybertrek 2010


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