‘We are ready to reopen’ David Lloyd Chief Executive Says As He Unveils New Package of Outdoor Activities
4th June 2020
As Britain starts to enjoy meeting again with small groups of friends and family, Glenn Earlam Chief Executive of David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), launched this week an expanded range of outdoor activities to be rolled out in over 50 of the company’s health clubs over the next few days; and confirmed DLL was well ahead with planning to reopen all of its facilities, including gyms, safely, and in line with social distancing and cleansing regulations - as soon as Government allows.
DLL takes its responsibilities regarding the current health crisis very seriously. Mental and physical activity and fitness has been proven to be a key element in enhancing the immune system and protecting people from this virus and illness generally. Europe’s largest operator of premier health clubs, with 660,000 members in Clubs across seven European countries - more than 100 of them in the UK - there is nothing more important to David Lloyd Leisure than the health and safety of its members, and Earlam says the objective is to creative a very very safe environment in which people can have confidence.
From this week, building on the opening of outdoor tennis facilities where external access was available, and taking advantage of the extensive outdoor spaces at the clubs, David Lloyd Clubs will be starting to roll out an exciting new range of outdoor activities, initially for small groups of up to 6 adults to enjoy. Designed to take place within beautiful SPA gardens, areas around the pool and other green spaces, activities have been specially developed and selected by the DLL team to offer daily schedules of up to 90 classes a week - to include Rucksack functional and bootcamp style workouts, along with some other favourites, BLAZE, HIIT, Cycling and other conditioning classes. We will also be offering a range of fitness style Pilates and Yoga, and a fusion of both. All will offer exercises which improve strength, flexibility and mobility for a wide range of abilities.
The new classes will start with small groups of up to 6 adults, in line with the new guidance, but the activities have also been developed to work for larger groups, safely and with full social distancing, as that become possible. Plans are also in place for Clubs to move selected gym equipment, including Indoor cycling bikes, outside – again initially for use by smaller groups. Classes available will vary dependent on space and what is possible within individual clubs.
“Regardless of the lockdown we are excited to be introducing a whole new range of dynamic and functional classes using the outdoor spaces in our Clubs. DLL is confident that our members will love these new activities, and that they will appeal to a very wide group of interests and ability.” says Earlam. “Obviously the recent good weather makes it a great time to launch but none of these new activities are weather dependent, and we plan to continue running them into the future. More and more exercise is going outside and we firmly believe the ‘new normal’ in exercising will be all about embracing the ‘great outdoors’ Our priority is that we continue to provide high quality, fun and challenging health and fitness facilities and activities, both as we move back to a more full and normal way of life, and beyond, in order to help us maintain and improve both physical and mental wellbeing.”
Preparing for Re-Opening – Culture and Protocols
Earlam also talked about the culture at David Lloyd clubs. “Safety, of members and the DLL team, has of course always been the priority, but now this includes an even greater emphasis on cleaning and social distancing protocols. We are uniquely placed to ensure this as our clubs are large spaces – many of over 100,000sq ft, mainly with large outdoor areas. This means not only do our members naturally have lots of room to spread out, but we will also be operating new schedules when we reopen allowing us for example to not only halve the number of people in classes, but also leave time between classes for a robust cleaning process. We will also only be using a proportion of the equipment in our large gyms; taking some of the equipment outside; and in 80% of the clubs setting up second gyms on indoor tennis courts - all designed to allow us to observe the social distancing rules and provide maximum safe access to our members."
“Other measures include doubling the number of professional cleaning staff who will clean throughout the day including between classes using NHS non-clinical measures as a minimum; implementing clear social distancing guidelines in all areas of the Club including screening in reception, cafes and other areas; providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for our teams; sourcing cleaning materials and hand sanitiser, both of which exceed the recommended grades suggested; and implementing the use of sneeze guards in reception, restricted access to turnstiles to manage capacities, and thermo cameras in many clubs to check temperatures on arrival.”
“Most importantly," said Earlam, “ is that every member of our team - from general and senior managers to the most junior member will be expected to be aware, and take personal responsibility for ensuring the quality and maintenance of the highest possible standards of health and safety within our clubs – an awareness and responsibility David Lloyd Leisure will also expect to see mirrored in members’ own behaviour."
The company is well ahead in its planning to reopen with these new strict protocols. All General Managers are currently being trained and will then be training their own teams to deliver the stringent new distancing and cleaning protocols for reopening the Clubs fully, as well as the new outdoor classes in participating clubs.
Finally, Earlam thanked members for their support during lockdown and confirmed that over 70% of members have used the app over the last ten weeks for a huge range of live and on demand classes as well as continued advice, which the company has continued to provide throughout the pandemic.
“Our objective now must be put in place measures which provide our members and our team with the confidence and reassurance that means they can again visit and enjoy their time with us at David Lloyd Leisure. And to do this by both creating a very very safe environment; and underlining a culture of responsibility and safety in everything we do" concluded Earlam.
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Further information/interviews with Glenn Earlam may be arranged though Sally Ann Wilkinson DLL on 07774 415 372 / [email protected]
About David Lloyd Leisure Group
The David Lloyd Leisure Group has 123 clubs - 100 clubs in the UK and a further 23 clubs across Europe, comprising its two brands David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs (of which there are three - Chelsea, Notting Hill and Kensington). In January 2020, it exchanged contracts on eight clubs from the Meridian Group in Germany. In March 2020 it announced it had exchanged contracts to acquire Geneva Country Club, its second club in the Geneva region.
It has over 660,000 members and employs around 8600 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 2000 while it contracts the services of more than 680 tennis professionals.
David Lloyd Club’s racquets facilities are unparalleled with over 1080 tennis courts as well as over 400 badminton and squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.