[email protected]" />
Letters
Write to reply

Fuel the debate about issues across the industry and share your ideas and experiences. We’d love to hear from you. [email protected]


Rowland Omamor, Lampton Leisure
Rowland Omamor / photo: lampton leisure

Local authorities and their operator partners are facing unprecedented financial challenges, but while we’re grappling with these, it’s vital we don’t lose sight of our core mission – serving communities that depend on our facilities.

We operate as a Local Authority Trading Company, with the liberty to be commercial, while also remaining community-centric. With the backing of Hounslow council, we stand firm in our commitment to uplifting the lives of local people, while also reducing the burden on NHS services.

From April 2022 to February 2023, we facilitated 1,754 Exercise on Referral sessions and hosted 51 adult weight management sessions. Our efforts expanded between March and October 2023 to the point where we allocate 76 hours a week to Exercise on Referral.

Recognising the diverse needs of local people, we provide specialist sessions, including women-only classes to empower more women to embrace fitness in a nurturing space and work with senior citizens focused on minimising mishaps, such as slips and falls.

Collaborating with the London Borough of Hounslow Swim Club, we grant free swimming and water safety sessions to people facing accessibility challenges.

These initiatives demonstrate our focus on societal impact.

While we believe we’ve delivered a robust post-lockdown recovery, our metrics of success extend far beyond that. We believe our true value lies in cultivating community ties and removing barriers to health and wellness.

We advocate for a transformation within the industry, envisioning leisure centres as essential community pillars, enhancing both mental and physical health.

Our true value lies in removing barriers to health and wellness
Ken Masser, Miova
Ken Masser / photo: moiva

I read your commentators’ analyses of the UK government physical activity strategy, Get Active, in the recent edition of HCM (issue 9 page 72).

It’s good to read a strategy that acknowledges the importance of local leadership, as there’s lots to be done around diversity, safeguarding, integrity and sustainability.

The key to unlocking that ambition is to recognise local leaders have the best understanding of where and what action is needed.

Facilities are an important part of the answer, but shouldn’t be the focus of the question and trying to fix problems ‘one facility at a time’ is focusing on the wrong solution, as ageing centres – while problematic – need to be viewed in the context of the challenge around stubborn inequalities in activity levels.

This approach accepts that the answer to every problem is not always to provide more money, but instead to focus on strategic leadership and local collaboration.

The more that can be joined-up, collaborated on and co-designed, the better. However, this isn’t all about co-locating services – although that can be part of it – it’s more about the nuanced interaction between facilities of all types, outdoor spaces, leaders and the workforce and the way people are welcomed and engaged.

The government strategy is a clear invitation for communities to come together and consider these elements holistically by establishing local plans for what’s needed in their area. This should help develop a pipeline for delivery and evidence to underpin funding requests across government.

We’ve enjoyed working with the Local Government Association and Sport England to support learning opportunities for local leaders to understand more about systems approaches and place-based working, as well as the practical application of those principles.

As the strategy says: “We’d encourage local leaders and local authorities to ensure there’s a clear and well-evidenced facilities plan for their local area. This should take into account informal spaces for participation, as well as the role the local leisure estate plays in contributing to physical activity and wider wellbeing.”

A broad principle that emerges in the new strategy is the idea that we need to embed physical activity along the whole lifecourse, at every age, in every community, and across all policy areas.

This will help ensure there’s joined-up local policymaking towards this outcome, improved local accountability and that local leaders and authorities are having positive impacts within their spheres of influence.

The strategy seems to summarise it well: “As we move forward, systemic change is now needed to ensure that public leisure is both relevant and viable in the coming years.”

A broad principle that emerges is that we need to embed physical activity along the whole life course
Mike Lyons, CEO, Horizon Leisure
Mike Lyons / photo: horizon Leisure

If we want to engage with the physically illiterate, we can’t do this from the confines of our normal facilities, as we would simply be talking to the converted; we have to build programmes that allow us to start talking to local people where they are.

We’ve taken a giant step forward in our outreach programme, meeting local residents through the opening of our Wellbeing Hub in a shopping centre.

It isn’t a gym and it’s not a leisure centre, it’s a totally different offer to our community.

Our first of its kind drop-in-centre, which was funded through Havant Borough Council, offers opportunities for wellbeing in a non-scary, familiar environment.

The Wellbeing Hub, which looks like a normal shop front, is situated next to a café in a shopping mall, meaning our community can pop in for health checks and physical activity advice from our experts on their way to the shops, or when they meet friends for a cup of coffee.

As a charitable health provider in Havant, Horizon Leisure is committed to inspiring healthier and happier communities and as part of that we’re keen to increase public accessibility to physical activity in a wider range of places and spaces.

The drop-in centre is offering free health checks, health interventions, exercise orientation programmes and small group exercise classes.

The hub, which only opened this summer, is already having a positive impact, with momentum building on the number of visitors popping in for health checks. It has already hosted a number of specialist community sessions, where a leisure centre setting might be seen as more intimidating and unfamiliar to those new to exercise. These include over 50s, men’s introduction to weights, Horizon Leisure’s Foundation Programme (an eight-week course designed to build confidence before attending our leisure centres), as well as low impact circuit classes, men-only circuits, women-only circuits, Flourish – our weight management programme – Smoke Free Hampshire and physio-led classes.

It’s a totally different offer for our community
The wellbeing hub is located in a shopping centre to remover barriers / photo: horizon Leisure
 


CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
19 Jun 2024 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine

Features List



SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2023 issue 10

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Write to reply

Letters

Write to reply


Fuel the debate about issues across the industry and share your ideas and experiences. We’d love to hear from you. [email protected]

Whole-life planning for physical activity is vital, says Miova's Ken Masser photo: shutterstock/jacob lund

Rowland Omamor, Lampton Leisure
Rowland Omamor / photo: lampton leisure

Local authorities and their operator partners are facing unprecedented financial challenges, but while we’re grappling with these, it’s vital we don’t lose sight of our core mission – serving communities that depend on our facilities.

We operate as a Local Authority Trading Company, with the liberty to be commercial, while also remaining community-centric. With the backing of Hounslow council, we stand firm in our commitment to uplifting the lives of local people, while also reducing the burden on NHS services.

From April 2022 to February 2023, we facilitated 1,754 Exercise on Referral sessions and hosted 51 adult weight management sessions. Our efforts expanded between March and October 2023 to the point where we allocate 76 hours a week to Exercise on Referral.

Recognising the diverse needs of local people, we provide specialist sessions, including women-only classes to empower more women to embrace fitness in a nurturing space and work with senior citizens focused on minimising mishaps, such as slips and falls.

Collaborating with the London Borough of Hounslow Swim Club, we grant free swimming and water safety sessions to people facing accessibility challenges.

These initiatives demonstrate our focus on societal impact.

While we believe we’ve delivered a robust post-lockdown recovery, our metrics of success extend far beyond that. We believe our true value lies in cultivating community ties and removing barriers to health and wellness.

We advocate for a transformation within the industry, envisioning leisure centres as essential community pillars, enhancing both mental and physical health.

Our true value lies in removing barriers to health and wellness
Ken Masser, Miova
Ken Masser / photo: moiva

I read your commentators’ analyses of the UK government physical activity strategy, Get Active, in the recent edition of HCM (issue 9 page 72).

It’s good to read a strategy that acknowledges the importance of local leadership, as there’s lots to be done around diversity, safeguarding, integrity and sustainability.

The key to unlocking that ambition is to recognise local leaders have the best understanding of where and what action is needed.

Facilities are an important part of the answer, but shouldn’t be the focus of the question and trying to fix problems ‘one facility at a time’ is focusing on the wrong solution, as ageing centres – while problematic – need to be viewed in the context of the challenge around stubborn inequalities in activity levels.

This approach accepts that the answer to every problem is not always to provide more money, but instead to focus on strategic leadership and local collaboration.

The more that can be joined-up, collaborated on and co-designed, the better. However, this isn’t all about co-locating services – although that can be part of it – it’s more about the nuanced interaction between facilities of all types, outdoor spaces, leaders and the workforce and the way people are welcomed and engaged.

The government strategy is a clear invitation for communities to come together and consider these elements holistically by establishing local plans for what’s needed in their area. This should help develop a pipeline for delivery and evidence to underpin funding requests across government.

We’ve enjoyed working with the Local Government Association and Sport England to support learning opportunities for local leaders to understand more about systems approaches and place-based working, as well as the practical application of those principles.

As the strategy says: “We’d encourage local leaders and local authorities to ensure there’s a clear and well-evidenced facilities plan for their local area. This should take into account informal spaces for participation, as well as the role the local leisure estate plays in contributing to physical activity and wider wellbeing.”

A broad principle that emerges in the new strategy is the idea that we need to embed physical activity along the whole lifecourse, at every age, in every community, and across all policy areas.

This will help ensure there’s joined-up local policymaking towards this outcome, improved local accountability and that local leaders and authorities are having positive impacts within their spheres of influence.

The strategy seems to summarise it well: “As we move forward, systemic change is now needed to ensure that public leisure is both relevant and viable in the coming years.”

A broad principle that emerges is that we need to embed physical activity along the whole life course
Mike Lyons, CEO, Horizon Leisure
Mike Lyons / photo: horizon Leisure

If we want to engage with the physically illiterate, we can’t do this from the confines of our normal facilities, as we would simply be talking to the converted; we have to build programmes that allow us to start talking to local people where they are.

We’ve taken a giant step forward in our outreach programme, meeting local residents through the opening of our Wellbeing Hub in a shopping centre.

It isn’t a gym and it’s not a leisure centre, it’s a totally different offer to our community.

Our first of its kind drop-in-centre, which was funded through Havant Borough Council, offers opportunities for wellbeing in a non-scary, familiar environment.

The Wellbeing Hub, which looks like a normal shop front, is situated next to a café in a shopping mall, meaning our community can pop in for health checks and physical activity advice from our experts on their way to the shops, or when they meet friends for a cup of coffee.

As a charitable health provider in Havant, Horizon Leisure is committed to inspiring healthier and happier communities and as part of that we’re keen to increase public accessibility to physical activity in a wider range of places and spaces.

The drop-in centre is offering free health checks, health interventions, exercise orientation programmes and small group exercise classes.

The hub, which only opened this summer, is already having a positive impact, with momentum building on the number of visitors popping in for health checks. It has already hosted a number of specialist community sessions, where a leisure centre setting might be seen as more intimidating and unfamiliar to those new to exercise. These include over 50s, men’s introduction to weights, Horizon Leisure’s Foundation Programme (an eight-week course designed to build confidence before attending our leisure centres), as well as low impact circuit classes, men-only circuits, women-only circuits, Flourish – our weight management programme – Smoke Free Hampshire and physio-led classes.

It’s a totally different offer for our community
The wellbeing hub is located in a shopping centre to remover barriers / photo: horizon Leisure

Originally published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 10

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd