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    Case studies

    Hebburn Central BODYCOMBAT launch packs a punch by increasing class occupancy 10%

    The Local Authority facility saw packed classes and long queues of members after hosting their BODYCOMBAT™ launch event.

    Les Mills

    Hebburn Central, one of South Tyneside Council’s six facilities, had a £13 million investment in 2015, making it more than your traditional leisure facility. Hebburn Central serves as a hub for the local community, with a library, learning centre, meeting rooms and café to complement their state-of-the-art sports offering.

    To match this, they wanted to offer the best group fitness service available, and through the success they saw at Haven Point, they opted for Les Mills.

    Working together with their Les Mills Customer Experience Manager, the staff at Hebburn Central discussed ways in which they could put their new programme BODYCOMBAT on the map and launch it to the masses at their new facility.

    October 2018 saw them host a BODYCOMBAT Instructor workshop during the day and a Masterclass in the evening, where members could experience the latest release of the mixed martial arts workout.


    The aim of the Instructor workshop was for Hebburn Central Instructors to work with Les Mills International Trainer and Presenter Lee Smith and learn how to elevate their teaching to the next level. The 2-hour upskill session enabled Lee to deliver an unforgettable Les Mills experience which Hebburn Central Instructors could then deliver back to their own classes on a regular basis.

    Ten Instructors attended the session and fed back that the workshop made them feel “really valued” and that opportunities like this don’t often come up at other facilities – putting Hebburn Central ahead of the rest. One Instructor in particular who attended the workshop was so inspired that she has since gone on to become a Les Mills Tribe Coach!

    Paul Tompkinson, Leisure Programme Officer for South Tyneside Council, states “It was nice to give something back to the Instructors and show that we value their efforts, given that they are the forward-facing people who represent our service, directly catering for 3,000 people every week!”


    To ensure BODYCOMBAT had the launch it deserved, in the evening Hebburn Central hosted a Masterclass where Lee presented the latest Les Mills BODYCOMBAT Release to over 100 members.

    With the help of the South Tyneside Council events team for staging, lighting and presentation facilities, the Hebburn Central Sports Hall was transformed so that Lee was able to deliver an epic workout to a room of excited attendees.

    Instructor Karen Gordon states,

    “Everyone got really involved, we had members of all ages and abilities all coming together as one doing the same thing. It shows that there’s not one type of combat person and you don’t need martial arts experience to take part!”

    The event didn’t only engage members; the Instructors all really got behind it too, helping to market the launch by putting up posters and promoting across social media.

    South Tyneside Council used social media to promote the event

    Paul states, “in addition to the numbers, it was great exposure for Hebburn Central. It set us as a main player in the fitness industry, not just the Local Authority sector.”


    After the event, Hebburn Central were booking back-to-back BODYCOMBAT classes at their facility to keep up with demand, with full capacity of 25 people per class and waiting lists of up to 14 people. Overall, they saw a 10% leap in class occupancy following the exposure of the Masterclass event.

    Paul confirmed “Our average BODYCOMBAT utilisation against maximum occupancy was 72.1% (October 2018). We are now operating at 81.8% which indicates an almost 10% utilisation increase”.

    BODYCOMBAT now accounts for 15% of all Group Exercise visits at Hebburn Central, although only makes up 12% of the timetable, so you could say it’s really punching above its weight!

    The BODYCOMBAT masterclass taking place

    Paul continued, “The event certainly was a great one and really showed what can be achieved through group exercise and on that occasion BODYCOMBAT. Our Instructors and members got a lot out of the day/evening, but it also put our service on the map locally as a provider of high-quality group exercise opportunities. The social media coverage was excellent and anecdotally since the event we have recruited a number of Les Mills “elite” level Instructors too, a couple of whom are now teaching for us on a regular basis.”

    Through their organic love of the programme, five members decided to take their Initial Module Training with Les Mills and became certified BODYCOMBAT Instructors, all of whom have gone to teach others at Hebburn Central.


    Due to the success of the Masterclass launch, South Tyneside Council have plans for another launch, this time at new facility Jarrow Focus. As part of their £3 million refurbishment, they plan to launch BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT and RPM - all in one day!

    Are you looking to add BODYCOMBAT to your group exercise timetable?

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