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Posted in Youth

When a UK-based chain of hotels and fitness facilities staged a team-building talent quest, it was children who became the stars of the show. The talented team of youngsters danced their way to local stardom, and by showcasing their skills they’ve helped get even more kids hooked on the benefits of regular physical activity.

Village Gym Nottingham, part of the Village UK-based chain of hotels, has been offering LES MILLS™ programs and helping adults fall in love with fitness for years. In July 2015 they started a crusade to improve their youth offering and better connect with the facility’s 1000 junior members. That’s where BORN TO MOVE came in.

The team knew that offering BORN TO MOVE classes could increase the consistency of children’s attendance and grow a generation of fit, healthy and happy youngsters – and there would be obvious business benefits too. “I am a big believer that if the children are happy then the parents are happy,” explains Kerry Heeney, Group Exercise Manager, who recognizes that active children grow into active adults, and that’s the secret to long-term retention.

Following an intensive training period the facility’s BORN TO MOVE teaching team kicked off with great passion and enthusiasm. They endured a disappointingly slow start, where initial classes averaged between two and four children, but the team were determined not to give up and quickly began scoping ways to promote the classes.

With an investment in local advertising and a fresh timetable, class numbers began to slowly rise. When the national Village Got Talent initiative popped up, the Village Gym Nottingham team knew it was the perfect opportunity to raise the profile to a new level.

Kerry recruited kids from the facility’s BORN TO MOVE and gymnastic classes to join the dance crew. Then the rehearsals kicked in. “We rehearsed every Saturday for four weeks,” says Kerry. “By the time the performance rolled around the kids couldn’t wait. They put on their 70s inspired silver wigs and performed in front of a crowd of 240 at the club members party.” It was a hit.

The talented youngsters were subsequently asked to perform their routine at the St George’s Day Carnival Parade – another opportunity to raise the profile of BORN TO MOVE at Village Gym Nottingham.

Since the Village Got Talent debut and subsequent parade performance the team at Village Gym Nottingham have fielded numerous enquiries about BORN TO MOVE. Class numbers have tripled and are now at capacity. Every week more than 30 children get involved. Kerry is rapt to have recruited a new instructor and the number of timetabled classes is soon to double. The team are now looking to expand the BORN TO MOVE following by introducing BORN TO MOVE within the schools.

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