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Posted in Youth, Newsfeed

Phoenix Group Fitness in Texas operates in a family-focussed environment, and much of the market choose their club based on the childcare offering. Club owner Kim Kelley wanted to do better than simply providing a small room, a supervisor and box of toys. So she added BORN TO MOVE to the mix

Kim has been teaching LES MILLS™ programs for years, she knew that BORN TO MOVE™ programming would be world class. She also knew it would take some tweaks to suit her facility. Here are her insights into getting BORN TO MOVE off the ground.

Try not to focus solely on dollars. Our aim isn’t to return a direct revenue from children’s fitness. We provide the program to support our adult offering, help position our facility as a family operation and, of course benefit the children. Nothing beats seeing kids better themselves. We’re currently facing an epidemic of obese kids. We have to do something, we have to go against the current and drive change. BORN TO MOVE can make a difference.

Adapt where you need to. We have a lot of 2- 3 year olds signed in to our childcare center, however at the beginning our 2-3 year olds class attendance was low. The issue was the need for the parents to do the class alongside their child – we found many busy members would rather spend the time taking an adult class. One of our teachers (who happens to also be a preschool teacher) thought that the programming would still work without an adult for every child, so we trialled it. Numbers immediately doubled, sometimes even tripled, and in many cases children participated more enthusiastically when their parents weren’t there. Now we run classes for 2-3 year olds with one instructor leading the class and another looking after the music and any children's issues. We do any moves that involved a parent with a partner.

Nail your schedule. We learnt early on that classes for the younger children need to be run in the morning. If they’re on any later than 11am the kids are too tired and lack focus. The classes for school aged kids work best immediately after school. They can come in, burn off steam and then they’re ready to focus on their homework.

Create community connections. We work with local schools and once a month we spend the day in school delivering BORN TO MOVE for every P.E. class – it’s like a big school party. We also offer to run sessions in daycare centers. We sponsor community youth events, distribute mailer and advertise on Facebook and the radio. We have even managed to secure a spot on the news!

Expect attendance inconsistencies. We have target numbers for classes, but it really is hit or miss. We've slowly built up numbers and maintained them throughout the summer, but since school has started back, they have decreased slightly. We encourage children to come by offering prizes (Toys R Us vouchers) for those who can make the most classes over a certain period. Most kids come twice a week.

Celebrate the wins. We thrive on how much the kids love the programs. The same kids who initially hid behind their parent are now vocal and active! They are answering questions and anticipating the next song and moves! They are bonding with each other and creating friendships that extend beyond our gym walls! Most importantly, they are moving!

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