This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
I Will If You Will encouraged women to support each other in becoming active, and inspired Sport England’s This Girl Can


JACKIE VEAL Operational lead • I Will if You Will


T


alking to women through social media has enabled us to understand what women want and helped us reach out


and understand the barriers they face. In terms of what operators can do to


appeal to women, programming is very important. Women are time-poor, so they want things like a 20-minute class at lunchtime, or just before or after work. Timetabling is crucial: classes must be run at a convenient time. A more relaxed and supportive approach to bringing children along is also needed. Many women are intimidated by gyms because they think they’ll be full of people who look like the women in the adverts. We didn’t use any stock images for I Will if You Will: using local women in our publicity encouraged more people to give it a go. There are also a lot of important considerations when it


comes to facility design and changing room provision. We’ve worked hard with our studio team and deliverers to ensure we offer an encouraging environment at all times, reinforcing the positive messages of I Will if You Will. Providing screens for women-only sessions gives some females more confidence, and offering female-only sessions – such as swimming lessons – gives them confidence to start swimming on their own.


sportsmanagement.co.uk issue 2 2015 © Cybertrek 2015


JIM GRAHAM COO • The Gym Group


I


t’s to the benefit of our industry to have more women as members. An even gender mix creates a better vibe and the sexes use gyms differently, driving better use of space and equipment.


Our research shows females can struggle with the idea of a


gym membership. They often perceive gyms to be intimidating places that are not for them, or that sport generally isn’t their thing. Our member base is currently 40 per cent female and we’re working hard to increase this through our environment – a gender-neutral, light, airy and non-threatening space – and by offering more of what our female members want, such as functional training and group exercise. We partnered Sport England for an open weekend aimed at


women in May, showing prospects that our gyms are places they can see themselves spending time in. Working out with friends is a great way of motivating repeat exercise behaviour, so we’re encouraging people to come with a friend. Role models are also key to getting people active, and we think female sporting role models are not yet celebrated to the extent of males. To this end, we’re sponsoring the Sporting Role Model award at the Women’s Sports Trust’s inaugural Be A Game Changer Awards.”


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