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EuropeActive's David Stalker and Jack Shakespeare from ukactive write to HCM


At this critical time in our sector’s history, with great challenges and opportunities before us, we’ve published the EuropeActive Manifesto to unite stakeholders around four critically important areas of improvement for our common future.

Our goal is to rally everyone in the industry to sign the manifesto and mobilise an innovative movement, with the document as the common reference point. The aim being for our sector to successfully move out of the shadow of COVID-19 and reach its fullest potential towards 2025.

The first of the four areas of focus is health. Every year new scientific research underscores the potential and importance of fitness and exercise – the core product of our sector – as an effective solution to many of the most common public health challenges.

This doesn’t only relate to physical health and wellbeing, but also to social and mental aspects. Becoming recognised providers of physical, social and mental wellbeing in the eyes of consumers represents a huge opportunity for our sector and EuropeActive has made it a public affairs goal for policy-makers to recognise our sector as a deliverer of public health solutions.

Our second area of focus is digital and focuses on speeding up digitalisation, educating our sector in this area and strengthening these parts of our ecosystem in order to develop the best possible solutions for our digital infrastructure.

As everybody learned during the lockdown, digital and tech solutions enable all kinds of fitness businesses to operate beyond ‘bricks and mortar’ to reach all types of consumers everywhere.

Becoming valued providers of health and wellbeing in our communities requires us to express visible care for our communities, or what we call active citizenship. The third headline of our manifesto is, therefore, community.

We must promote trust and confidence in our sector, by demonstrating our willingness to take responsibility in society. We’re in a unique position to help strengthen our communities, by promoting the physical, social and mental health and wellbeing of citizens of all ages and backgrounds.

Finally, having professional standards is the hallmark of every mature sector, and it’s critical we unite around upskilling our workforce and demonstrating the expertise of our professionals through professional registers. This is also a prerequisite for our collaboration with health professionals and the medical community.

Every crisis is an opportunity for leadership. Emerging successfully out of a crisis as significant as this pandemic requires visionary leadership, creative thinking and innovative collaboration. The ambition of EuropeActive’s Manifesto is to promote leadership and collaboration to become the best possible version of ourselves in the coming years.

Sign the manifesto at
HCMmag.com/manifesto

David Stalker, EuropeActive

Jack Shakespeare
ukactive

Children and young people have experienced unprecedented disruption in their lives since the onset of national lockdown in March. From the closure of schools to the lack of community connection, the impact on the health and wellbeing of our youngest generation has been devastating.

During the initial school closure from March to May, children’s physical activity levels in England plummeted, with only 18 per cent averaging 60 active minutes each day (the CMO’s recommended level). This has been slowly rising, reaching 21 per cent during the school summer holidays, as restrictions eased.

However, as we enter the winter and there are fewer opportunities for children to be outdoors, we have a long way to go to get back to the (already low) levels of activity we were seeing pre-lockdown.

Now is the time for strong leadership, willpower and a bold ambition and commitment from all political parties to support the most vulnerable in our society, placing children’s health and wellbeing at the heart of our recovery plans. Pre-lockdown, just 47 per cent of children and young people in England did an average of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Our ambition has to be to raise that considerably and our ability and will to tackle the entrenched inequalities that prevent millions of children enjoying fun and inclusive daily physical activity.

Supporting evidence
Research by the ukactive Research Institute shows that, in a normal year, children and young people suffer significant losses in fitness levels over the summer holidays, with the fitness of those from low-income families falling 18 times faster than their more affluent classmates. Additionally, children aged five from the poorest income groups are twice as likely to be obese than their more affluent peers, and three times as likely by the age of 11.

The provision of out-of-school activities, including after-school clubs, school holiday programmes and extended-schools provision are vital to achieving these goals, and it’s essential that safe, inclusive and accessible activity offerings continue to be available when children and young people are not engaged by school during term-time.

ukactive believes that part of the solution already lies on the doorsteps of the children and young people we need to support. We need to unlock existing assets that are purpose-built for children, are safe and trusted spaces that sit at the heart of local communities, and that house almost 40 per cent of all sports facilities in England – schools.

Through this lens, schools should be regarded as a vital community asset for the health and wellbeing of our children at this challenging time. Opening up school gates can re-shape school holidays and other out-of-school periods for those children and young people that really need it, at a time when positive activity experiences both in and out of school-time are utterly priceless.

We believe our ‘Schools as Community Hubs’ model is an unmissable opportunity for the government and the sector to support children and families through the pandemic
The solution
We believe our ‘Schools as Community Hubs’ model is an unmissable opportunity for the government and the sector to support children and families through the coronavirus crisis. We’re working with ukactive members to identify the programmes and pathways we can provide to dramatically impact these health outcomes. This will also create the foundations for early engagement and lifestyle change, increasing confidence and awareness to access the full breadth of local activity provision, such as swimming pools, sports clubs and classes.

We’ll continue to work with government to support children’s activity providers through this challenging time, providing protective measures and guidance for the safe operational delivery of holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings.

Exercise habits formed in childhood can underpin good health for a lifetime / SHUTTERSTOCK/Master1305
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2020 issue 9

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Leisure Management - Write to reply

Letters

Write to reply


EuropeActive's David Stalker and Jack Shakespeare from ukactive write to HCM

EuropeActive is asking everyone in the sector to sign its manifesto SHUTTERSTOCK/WALLENROCK

At this critical time in our sector’s history, with great challenges and opportunities before us, we’ve published the EuropeActive Manifesto to unite stakeholders around four critically important areas of improvement for our common future.

Our goal is to rally everyone in the industry to sign the manifesto and mobilise an innovative movement, with the document as the common reference point. The aim being for our sector to successfully move out of the shadow of COVID-19 and reach its fullest potential towards 2025.

The first of the four areas of focus is health. Every year new scientific research underscores the potential and importance of fitness and exercise – the core product of our sector – as an effective solution to many of the most common public health challenges.

This doesn’t only relate to physical health and wellbeing, but also to social and mental aspects. Becoming recognised providers of physical, social and mental wellbeing in the eyes of consumers represents a huge opportunity for our sector and EuropeActive has made it a public affairs goal for policy-makers to recognise our sector as a deliverer of public health solutions.

Our second area of focus is digital and focuses on speeding up digitalisation, educating our sector in this area and strengthening these parts of our ecosystem in order to develop the best possible solutions for our digital infrastructure.

As everybody learned during the lockdown, digital and tech solutions enable all kinds of fitness businesses to operate beyond ‘bricks and mortar’ to reach all types of consumers everywhere.

Becoming valued providers of health and wellbeing in our communities requires us to express visible care for our communities, or what we call active citizenship. The third headline of our manifesto is, therefore, community.

We must promote trust and confidence in our sector, by demonstrating our willingness to take responsibility in society. We’re in a unique position to help strengthen our communities, by promoting the physical, social and mental health and wellbeing of citizens of all ages and backgrounds.

Finally, having professional standards is the hallmark of every mature sector, and it’s critical we unite around upskilling our workforce and demonstrating the expertise of our professionals through professional registers. This is also a prerequisite for our collaboration with health professionals and the medical community.

Every crisis is an opportunity for leadership. Emerging successfully out of a crisis as significant as this pandemic requires visionary leadership, creative thinking and innovative collaboration. The ambition of EuropeActive’s Manifesto is to promote leadership and collaboration to become the best possible version of ourselves in the coming years.

Sign the manifesto at
HCMmag.com/manifesto

David Stalker, EuropeActive

Jack Shakespeare
ukactive

Children and young people have experienced unprecedented disruption in their lives since the onset of national lockdown in March. From the closure of schools to the lack of community connection, the impact on the health and wellbeing of our youngest generation has been devastating.

During the initial school closure from March to May, children’s physical activity levels in England plummeted, with only 18 per cent averaging 60 active minutes each day (the CMO’s recommended level). This has been slowly rising, reaching 21 per cent during the school summer holidays, as restrictions eased.

However, as we enter the winter and there are fewer opportunities for children to be outdoors, we have a long way to go to get back to the (already low) levels of activity we were seeing pre-lockdown.

Now is the time for strong leadership, willpower and a bold ambition and commitment from all political parties to support the most vulnerable in our society, placing children’s health and wellbeing at the heart of our recovery plans. Pre-lockdown, just 47 per cent of children and young people in England did an average of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Our ambition has to be to raise that considerably and our ability and will to tackle the entrenched inequalities that prevent millions of children enjoying fun and inclusive daily physical activity.

Supporting evidence
Research by the ukactive Research Institute shows that, in a normal year, children and young people suffer significant losses in fitness levels over the summer holidays, with the fitness of those from low-income families falling 18 times faster than their more affluent classmates. Additionally, children aged five from the poorest income groups are twice as likely to be obese than their more affluent peers, and three times as likely by the age of 11.

The provision of out-of-school activities, including after-school clubs, school holiday programmes and extended-schools provision are vital to achieving these goals, and it’s essential that safe, inclusive and accessible activity offerings continue to be available when children and young people are not engaged by school during term-time.

ukactive believes that part of the solution already lies on the doorsteps of the children and young people we need to support. We need to unlock existing assets that are purpose-built for children, are safe and trusted spaces that sit at the heart of local communities, and that house almost 40 per cent of all sports facilities in England – schools.

Through this lens, schools should be regarded as a vital community asset for the health and wellbeing of our children at this challenging time. Opening up school gates can re-shape school holidays and other out-of-school periods for those children and young people that really need it, at a time when positive activity experiences both in and out of school-time are utterly priceless.

We believe our ‘Schools as Community Hubs’ model is an unmissable opportunity for the government and the sector to support children and families through the pandemic
The solution
We believe our ‘Schools as Community Hubs’ model is an unmissable opportunity for the government and the sector to support children and families through the coronavirus crisis. We’re working with ukactive members to identify the programmes and pathways we can provide to dramatically impact these health outcomes. This will also create the foundations for early engagement and lifestyle change, increasing confidence and awareness to access the full breadth of local activity provision, such as swimming pools, sports clubs and classes.

We’ll continue to work with government to support children’s activity providers through this challenging time, providing protective measures and guidance for the safe operational delivery of holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings.

Exercise habits formed in childhood can underpin good health for a lifetime / SHUTTERSTOCK/Master1305

Originally published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 9

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