Virgin Group has announced one of its most successful global businesses, Virgin Active health clubs, is coming to Australia, with the first club set to open in Frenchs Forest (Sydney) in December this year.
Already a major player in health and fitness in the UK, Italy, Spain and South Africa, Virgin Active has made a significant impact on the industry since its inception in 1999. It is now one of the largest health club businesses in the world, with over 170 clubs and more than 900,000 members.
Extensive research commissioned by Virgin Active has revealed Australians experience a number of frustrations when it comes to the current market offering.
The findings show that the majority of Australian gym goers (62%) said that they wished their gym membership offered better value for money; 42% wish their gym membership provided a more personalised service; while more than 1 in 3 (37%) are simply looking for a more fun and enjoyable gym environment.
Machine waiting times also ranked highly on the list of annoyances. 90% of Australian’s admit they often have to force themselves just to go to a gym¹.
Mark Blackman, Managing Director, Virgin Active Australia said, “We have listened to the frustrations expressed by consumers here, taken the best of what our clubs offer overseas, and have created an offering that we believe Australians will love.”
Virgin Active is currently developing two sites in Australia, with the first club opening in Frenchs Forest (NSW) scheduled for December 2008. The second club will open on Bourke Street in Melbourne (VIC) in the first quarter of 2009.
Virgin Active says the design of the clubs will be truly unique with spacious layouts and plenty of natural light to allow members to be fully engaged and motivated by the atmosphere around them. Specific features will include 25m lap pools, distinctive dedicated studios for mind and body classes, and innovative
relaxation spa zones.
Beyond traditional gym equipment, Virgin Active will offer a holistic view of fitness and wellbeing with equipment and activities including swim programs, fast classes, running tracks, kinesis classes, power plate classes, rock climbing, yoga and Pilates.
Virgin Active will have a strong focus on family orientated activities. It will cater to everyone, including the kids. More than just a crèche, Virgin Active will offer Club V – a fun-filled centre offering activities designed to stimulate physical development and educate children on the importance of regular exercise.
Sir Richard Branson stated, “I’m thrilled to bring one of my favourite Virgin businesses to one of my favourite places – Australia. The Virgin brand is already well known and loved by Australians and I know people will enjoy getting fit and active the Virgin way. Everyone knows the importance of good health and at Virgin Active we will help people achieve their goals and ensure they have a little bit of fun along the way.”
Although the first Virgin Active Health Club isn’t scheduled to open until December, Australians can register their interest online at www.virginactive.com.au or call 1300 975 688.