Fitness industry veteran Tony de Leede has opened the inaugural Club W in Sydney, Australia.
Positioned as a women-only lifestyle space, the 400sq m club specifically targets older women – what de Leede calls the “forgotten generation” of Baby Boomers who have never really engaged with gyms and fitness in the traditional sense.
“Club W is a modern space where women can immerse themselves in wellness and recharge, restore and connect with others," de Leede told Health Club Management. " I refer to it as a second home – a home that’s based on community and activity, and where you feel comfortable and safe.”
The AU$650,000 club opened yesterday (11 March) and is based around a wellness lounge area, where members can relax and socialise.
In addition to the social spaces; there’s also a strong focus on movement, with four virtual studios offering Move123 classes. These cover eight distinct categories – Yoga, Pilates, Stretch, Strength, Dance, Fight, Cardio and Meditation – and range in length from five to 30 minutes.
De Leede is confident that virtual is appropriate for the older Club W target market. “In the US alone, over 30 million women aged 50 years and older are online, and 59 per cent of them think they’re just as tech-savvy as their children and grandchildren,” he said.
Complementing the four virtual studios is an ‘active education’ room – a small gym space kitted out with treadmills and recumbent bikes, where four large screens at the front of the room allow members to access a pre-set schedule of Mind123 educational programmes. These videos, between three and 15 minutes in length, offer lifestyle advice on a wide variety of topics: Health, Nutrition, Self, Relationships, Wealth and Beauty.
There’s also a massage room, plus three consultation pods where local lifestyle businesses – offering services ranging from nutrition to naturopathy, life coaching to manicures – can come in and offer complimentary 20-minute appointments for members. Somadome meditation pods will also be added at a later date.
Employed hosts and volunteer ‘club ambassadors’ are employed to make members feel welcome, comfortable and to buddy them in classes.
“I wanted to create somewhere I could imagine my mum or my sister coming to get out of the house – a place that offers not only movement, but also community,” said de Leede. “Club W isn’t about being fit. It’s about living longer, well.”