Read my blog this month where I have a chat with Chris Jones, Fusion Lifestyle's Group Sports and Community Development Manager.
We discuss how leisure operators can support the government's ambitions to build an active nation. Ad-Lib Training are proud to work closely in partnership with Fusion Lifestyle, collaborating on a number of innovative programmes aimed at creating physical activity opportunites for all.
Q. What's your background and how did you get your role?
I studied Sports Science at university and my first work experience in the health and fitness sector came when I moved into tennis coaching. I then began personal training and worked my way up through many roles in the public leisure sector – operations, duty manager and general manager. I moved into sports development as I saw it as an opportunity to make a difference, change lives and have a real impact on getting people active and improving health and wellbeing. I worked my way up in this department from a divisional to my current national role based on my good track record of delivery and securing funding to deliver successful and innovative projects. I enjoy building good relationships with external partners so we can work together to create the greatest impact and hopefully leave sustainable and legacy building programmes.
Q. What role do you think leisure operators have in supporting the government's ambitions to build an active nation?
Leisure Operators have a significant role in in supporting the government's ambitions to build an active nation. We already know that nearly 65% of all leisure activity happens within a leisure facility and we have a significant role in increasing the amount of physical activity individuals take part in and especially moving them from inactive to active.
Leisure facilities are the hub in the community and our initial engagement can support them in the behavioural change cycle. We are a place for families and young people, who will often have their first taste of physical activity in one of our centres whether that be from attending a party, soft play session, swimming lesson or sports camp. That’s why it’s vital that we get our offer right – so we can ensure our young people sustain an active lifestyle and maintain that behaviour. A key part of my role is to increase participation and physical activity and improving the health and wellbeing of the community. The government need to be investing more in local leisure activity to support this ambition.
Q. What are your biggest challenges?
We are in a massive changing environment at the moment and it’s a tough time for leisure operators with more competition who are offering a variety of options so it’s vital that we ensure we get our offer right. It’s not all about participation numbers anymore – the focus is shifting to how can we change lives, how can we get people to move more, with more emphasis on both physical and mental wellbeing.
Q. What has been your biggest achievement?
I’m immensely proud of everything my team and I deliver across our programmes nationally, especially being able to witness first-hand the difference we are making to local people’s lives.
Q. What's your favourite exercise track?