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By Neil Fell, Performance Manager at onePT Ltd

We entered the ukactive Awards last year because we believed we had created a unique concept – a highly client-centric approach to health and fitness. Anecdotally, our members have said we have created a fantastic facility; our staff are great, but how did we really know if we had achieved what we had set out to achieve?

We wanted to measure ourselves against the rest of the country – the more established clubs and health and fitness facilities. We also wanted to learn about ourselves – could we be better? Could we offer a better service?

Winning the Regional Club of the Year (North) was just incredible, especially when we have only been open such a relatively short space of time; then to win the National Club of the Year Award was totally unbelievable – we never expected to win at all.

Really, it is a recognition of all the hard work of the staff – their trust in a brand new concept and buying into our philosophies. The awards are also a recognition of the support of our strategic partner Exigo-uk. Without them we could not have brought the onePT model to life.

We believe that winning the awards has given us credibility and confidence as we look to develop the onePT model on a franchise basis.

The ukactive Awards are the most prestigious in the industry and are internationally recognised. They help set the standard of what a facility should be offering and how it should be operated for the benefit of the member.

The feedback we received as part of the awards process has been so useful at helping us to look at where we can improve – things that we can still do better – the finer detail (or marginal gains as they call it in sport). We want to build on our strengths. We are not satisfied with 80 to 90%, we want to hit 100% all of the time.

My advice for anyone thinking of entering the awards is to just do it. If you believe in your concept, then enter. It is a great opportunity to see how well you are doing and compare yourselves against other clubs and facilities. The member surveys and mystery shops will provide a very detailed and informative insight into your business.

We will be entering the awards process again this year because we have gained so much from the experience – we want to take the learnings from 2019 and make those tweaks and improve the service we offer to our members even further.

I would encourage more businesses to enter the awards because it will help raise the standards of their business. Everyone should be striving to offer the best member experience to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.

Speaking on behalf of our industry, we all want more people to be more active more often, and I think these awards and the role of ukactive massively raise the profile and credibility of the fantastic industry we are all part of. It helps to encourage more people to get involved in physical activity, and ensures the members are well looked after by enthusiastic and well-qualified staff.

Find out more and enter the ukactive Awards 2020 here (deadline for entries: Monday, 24 February)