27 Sep 2021
I recently had a conversation with someone from Sport England and had to ask myself “why are you getting so angry?”
Some context – it was in relation to my concerns on how the Group Exercise industry is governed.
Upon reflection it is an age old flame that becomes fuelled when I am so confidently informed about what group exercise is and the aims and objectives for our industry that leave me open mouthed in disbelief.
In this instance he spewed out percentage figures on who attends group classes – largest percentage women – who knew? alongside a mandate to encourage more equality and more diversity.
Now! the problem endemically lies in the fact that I have spent my entire adult life entrenched in group exercise (like you) working tirelessly to make the industry a more profitable place for instructors and my informant most likely has never taken class in his life.
– MY POINT any group exercise class regardless of modality (in my experience) by virtue of what it is represents a haven of equality and diversity and it always has.
YOU yes YOU the group exercise instructor empower every single person you meet. The group exercise environment does and always has encouraged this outcome:
– Equality is about ensuring everybody has an equal opportunity, and is not treated differently or discriminated against because of their characteristics. Diversity is about taking account of the differences between people and groups of people, and placing a positive value on those differences
All instructors need to stand up NOW and request that any governing body or organisation strives to make our industry a better place. They need STOP telling and selling us information that we already know and embody on a daily basis.
Unless you teach group classes you could not possibly understand what transpires within these intimate groups.
– Ask yourself who facilitated the speedy transition from live to online classes when pandemic hit?
It was the industry experts, the music providers, the tech companies, those involved in group exercise did what they always do to keep classes alive.
– Ask yourself now what you achieved?
You helped the mental and physical wellbeing of thousands. No one taught you how to do this, no one told you to do this, you did it yourself with the help of your peers and the people who care.
Th problems in our industry started when third parties started to charge instructors for content and when organisations started selling them the right to do what they have always done.
– My message to the companies who want to own group exercise.
We don’t need you – you need us.
– My message to group instructors.
KNOW YOUR POWER. Stop waiting for permission, guidelines and rules. You are enabled. If you are going to invest in memberships then demand that they offer a return and provide you something you don’t already know.

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