Q&A with Louise Day - Champneys Health Resort Group

Louise Day is the Wellbeing & Fitness Director of Champneys Health Resort Group. She has over 27 years’ experience in the industry, with skills in Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, Fitness, Sports, and Wellness.

Louise, it's been a bumpy past 12 months for the health & fitness industry with covid and the lockdowns. What have been the biggest challenges for Champney's during this time?

Yes, what a year! The impact of COVID-19 has been significant to both our business and of course to our staff with forced closures and associated downturn in business. As like all gyms, we have had to deal with the challenges of reopening under restrictions and the management of space and social distancing. Further challenges we faced were caused by the multiple number of lockdowns where we have had to deal with losing vital periods of trading whilst freezing memberships. Thankfully we have a very loyal membership base.

Despite these difficult times our aim was very much to provide a community feel for our members, where they felt safe and able to achieve great results and still receive the Champneys experience.  We ensured we fully engaged with them, keeping communication clear.

Once the resorts are allowed to re-open in April what will be the focus for the remainder of 2021?

For Champneys we operate as a dual business offering club membership as well as the day spa and residential side of the business. April will hopefully allow us to open our Health Clubs but our hotels will have to wait until May. Like any business our aim will be re-engaging with members and guests, gaining new customers and proving our worth.

As we come out of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s very important we try to get people to refocus on their health and wellbeing providing them with wellness retreats focused around mental health, sleep, nutrition, exercise and relaxation.

With our Clubs our main focus is on reactivating members who put their memberhip on pause, while ensuring our people are confident and optimistic about what lies ahead. As we welcome both old and new members, it is clear the new members on boarding process will be more important than ever and its impact on member engagement and retention will be clear to measure.

Much like supermarkets, members want a one-stop-shop for their fitness and wellbeing needs, so we need to offer a compelling blended solution that combines the motivation and social connection of our live classes in-club, with the convenience of digital workouts at-home. We will need to develop this offering in 2021 to keep current members – and attract new ones – by supporting them to work-out however they choose.

On a personal level, what are you looking forward to most with the opening of the industry?

Physical activity is key to the nation’s recovery post-COVID. The role of physical activity and its potential to transform the physical, mental and social wellbeing of our members can not be underestimated. The collective sacrifice we have all made must lead to a positive change that improves the nations wellbeing.

I look forward to welcoming our guests and members back, working with my teams and peers in the industry to support the health, wellbeing and resilience of those who attend our resorts/clubs.