Michael Gove recently praised the efforts of both Olympians and PE teachers in inspiring a generation of school pupils, saying the sporting legacy of London 2012 was, in his view, that of “building character, fighting obesity and ensuring the benefits of sports are spread as widely as possible.”*
This month, we speak to three education providers about their healthy living programmes and how finding the right partner has helped them maximise sporting achievements to build on the legacy of London 2012.
Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS) offers a unique programme combining top quality academic offering with high level coaching from professionals across a variety of sports. A personal school timetable offers talented young sportspeople the opportunity to receive both coaching and academic lessons during school hours, allowing them to rest and enjoy a life outside of these areas.
In 2011, the school signed up Bernie Shrosbree as Director of Performance and full time performance coach. An adventure endurance athlete and amongst the world’s best performance coaches, Bernie works closely with the gifted and talented BCS pupils, producing individual training programmes to help them achieve their best results.
Bernie comments: “Experience has given me the wisdom that success and excellence are a result of combining first rate coaching with quality training equipment. So I’m really pleased that pupils now have the chance to use Matrix Fitness equipment at BCS. Having the opportunity to train on equipment used by the best of the best is a great addition to the training programme we offer these top young athletes.”
With legacy still a buzzword for 2013 and the ongoing obesity crisis hitting the headlines daily, many schools are taking a proactive approach to improving their health and wellbeing offering. For example, Southampton’s Oasis Lords Hill School recently installed all new equipment in its busy gym. A month on from installation, the equipment is used by more than 100 pupils every day.
Selecting an equipment supplier was a challenge in itself, explains Olawale Olufunwa, Community Manager: “Schools like ours need equipment that not only provides a full workout but looks great and captures the imagination of our pupils – no mean feat! By making exercise appealing to our pupils we can tackle the barriers to healthy living head on, which is high on our agenda.”
Rather than installing the top quality equipment for pupils only, the Oasis Lords Hill School gym is also used by the community in the evening, so all products were chosen specifically to cater to the widest range of people including those with additional needs. Olawale explains: “By extending the gym offering to the community, we created an additional revenue stream for the school. Matrix Fitness helped us select appropriate equipment to support our specific needs, and also allowed us to benefit from their economy of scale as a large business, which helped us to get the gym up and running quicker than we could have done ourselves.”
Operating a gym commercially outside of school hours can benefit the surrounding community while also creating a secondary income for the school itself. Schools that don’t take advantage of this opportunity could be locking their doors on dead space without realising the benefits to their pupils, budget and the wider community.
So far, the Oasis Lords Hill School fitness offering has generated an average of £1000 income per month for the site, based on pay as you go visits from local residents out of school hours. The school also hires out a theatre, classrooms, sports hall and outdoor courts for additional revenue.
Taf Ely Learning Campus teamed up with Aspire Fitness, leasing the gym company space in college grounds. The space is used by pupils during the day and run commercially in the evenings. The location of the campus is ideal for this dual purpose, located just off the A470, a popular commuter route.
Pete Smith, Manager of Aspire Fitness, explains: “This was a great opportunity for all parties; we benefit as a commercial partner, the school offers its pupils state-of-the-art Matrix Fitness equipment free of charge every day, and evening users enjoy premium equipment at a very reasonable membership price.”
Through strategic partnerships with coaches, equipment suppliers and operators, education sites can bring to life the legacy of London 2012, strengthen links with the local community, and create new opportunities to generate revenue.
* Michael Gove Interview 29th January 2013
Matrix Fitness Systems is the commercial division of Johnson Health Tech UK Ltd, a supplier of a complete range of premium commercial grade cardiovascular and strength-training equipment for health clubs and other fitness facilities.
Holly James, Promote PR
Tel: 01628 507 662, E-mail: [email protected]