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Thursday 21 October 2021
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13 Oct 2021
ukactive Summit: Tanni sets out vision for physical activity sector’s future

Tanni Grey-Thompson has outlined her vision on how the physical activity sector can play "the fullest role in improving the health of the nation".

Speaking at the opening of the annual ukactive Summit in London today (13 October), Tanni said the focus should be on adapting to a "new reality" shaped by the pandemic, in which the focus should be to help the nation become more resilient to future threats of Covid-19 through improved health and wellbeing.

Tanni, who will be leaving her role as ukactive chair in August 2022, said: "We're not a stationary sector, by the very nature of our design, and we cannot afford to be stationary in our mindset.

"Society has changed as a result of the pandemic, and we must change with it.

"I believe the sector will need to be characterised in the following ways.

"We must fully adopt consumer data and insight to help us engage a diversity of audiences, especially older people.

"We must be fully committed to delivering the highest professional standards across both health and safety, and wider societal factors.

"We must drive programmes and services that strive to make facilities as inclusive as possible, and also agile to the growing importance of digital offerings.

"And we must fully establish and integrate our services into health pathways, to support the NHS as well as wider mental and social wellbeing."

She added that working in partnership with the government and other organisations will be crucial – especially in a climate in which both political leaders and the general public have recognised the importance of physical and mental health.

"The door is open for us as a sector with our engagement with Government, and probably more ajar than it was before the start of the pandemic," she said, while also identifying key policy areas which the physical activity sector should look to target – including tax reform.

"I want to see us create a partnership that sees the Government use all the levers at its disposal to support the sector’s development and enable more people to be active.

"In practice, this would mean using not only capital investment, but reforms to tax and wider regulations. These changes would help accelerate both facility expansion and renewal,

"They would also remove financial barriers that restrict people from accessing sport, fitness and leisure.

"We want to work with the Government and partners on a number of reforms and interventions.

"These include an overhaul of the business rates system that would be a huge catalyst for growth and expansion of sites across communities and a reform of the VAT provision on physical activity that restricts access for people from low-income backgrounds to be active.

"We also want to ensure our sector is fully integrated into future incentive schemes that aim to encourage targeted groups to be active.

"The reforms would also include implementing the Workout from Work scheme, which would see the extension of the Cycle to Work scheme to include gym memberships and equipment.

"Government must also aid and facilitate long-term capital investment to future-proof facilities, enabling them to continue to provide essential services to communities, while saving councils money and reducing their carbon footprint.

"This is a major issue as we approach COP 26 in November, where ukactive will be speaking on behalf of our members."

Last month, ukactive published growth modelling, which showed how a VAT reform, the adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see the UK's fitness sector gain 5 million more paying members by 2030.


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20 Oct 2021
2021 World Spa and Wellness Award winners announced
The winners of the World Spa and Wellness (WSW) Awards have been crowned as part of the official 2021 WSW Conference, hosted on 17 and 18 October at Excel Centre in London.
20 Oct 2021
International Longevity Centre launches global fitness competition
A global innovation competition has been launched to find ways to encourage and support more older workers to return or remain in the workplace.
20 Oct 2021
Virtual Healing Summit to explore how to heal the self, the community and the earth
Anne Biging and Dr Elisabeth Ixmeier, founders of Healing Hotels of the World and the Healing Summit, are gathering activists, scientists and inspired leaders to host a virtual Healing Summit event on 23 October.
20 Oct 2021
Creative legends behind iconic ​​Spider-Man ride team to give talk at IAAPA Expo
The creative geniuses behind the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man darkride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park in Orlando, Florida will offer their insights into the creative process behind the iconic attraction.
18 Oct 2021
Global fitness industry gets back to live events
The global health and fitness industry is returning to a busy programme of live trade shows and industry events, following an 18-month period in which the pandemic disrupted gatherings.
16 Oct 2021
World Spa and Wellness Convention 2021 kicks off in London
Today (17 October) marks the first day of the annual World Spa and Wellness conference, hosted at London’s ExCeL exhibition centre.
15 Oct 2021
Nadine Dorries says sport and physical activity must be 'at the heart of pandemic recovery'
Nadine Dorries, the recently appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, has promised that the government will place sport and physical activity "at the heart of pandemic recovery".
15 Oct 2021
Europa Park extends winter opening for the first time as part of Hallowinter celebration
For the first time in its history, Europa-Park has announced it will remain open between Halloween and the start of its winter schedule as part of a ‘HALLOWinter’ offering.
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Diary dates
31 Oct - 03 Nov 2021
GSN Buyers Conference - Green Spa Network
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Ojai
United States
09 Nov 2021
We Work Well North America
Virtual
United States
09-09 Nov 2021
UK Spa Association - Autumn networking event
Rockliffe Hall
15 Nov 2021
Salon Life Beauty Convention
Leonardo Royal City Hotel
London
United Kingdom
17-18 Nov 2021
Asia Wellness Summit
Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort
Bangkok
Thailand
24-25 Nov 2021
Scotland’s National Tourism Industry Conference
EICC
Edinburgh
United Kingdom
29 Nov - 02 Dec 2021
Piscina & Wellness Barcelona
Gran Via Exhibition Centre
Barcelona
Spain
29 Nov - 03 Dec 2021
Beauty meetings - aesthetics & anti-aging
Online
30 Nov - 03 Dec 2021
Global Wellness Summit (GWS)
Boston
United States
02-03 Dec 2021
European Health Prevention Day
Kurhaus
Wiesbaden
Germany
07 Dec 2021
World Halotherapy Association Symposium
virtual event
01-03 Feb 2022
Spatex 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena
Coventry
United Kingdom
10-14 Mar 2022
Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna
Fair District
Bologna
Italy
03-04 Apr 2022
Natural & Organic Products Europe
ExCel
London
United Kingdom
more diary dates
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