Vir­gin ex­pands fit­ness mar­ket

New Zealand Fitness - - WELLBEING - — Ly­dia Shoe­bridge

Bri­tish multi-na­tional com­pany Vir­gin Group, headed by Richard Bran­son, has been qui­etly ex­pand­ing from air­lines, to cruises, hotels, ra­dio, rail, bal­loon flights, books, mo­bile and now fit­ness.

Vir­gin has opened up four gyms in Syd­ney and two in Mel­bourne un­der the Vir­gin Ac­tive name. As Vir­gin ini­tia­tives al­ways reach Aus­tralia be­fore New Zealand, it is just a mat­ter of time be­fore they reach our shores.

Launched by Vir­gin Group in 1999, there are more than 270 clubs world­wide, boast­ing an im­pres­sive 1.3 mil­lion mem­bers.

Vir­gin de­scribes the clubs as “world class” and they in­clude saunas, spas and swim­ming pools, as well as all the lat­est equip­ment. The on trend fit­ness classes in­clude barre work­outs, Zumba and Pi­lates Re­form­ers.

The clubs have a fun, non-in­tim­i­dat­ing at­mos­phere, with smi­ley staff there to sup­port and mo­ti­vate. The clubs of­fer all mem­bers a free per­son­alised one-on-one ses­sion with a trainer when they start, plus the op­tion of free catch-up ses­sions to keep mem­bers on track. The health club ex­pe­ri­ence is pro­moted as sec­ond to none.

Mean­time, the lat­est chal­lenge for the Vir­gin Group, is the launch of Vir­gin Sport. Op­er­at­ing high en­ergy events and cel­e­bra­tory oc­ca­sions – which bring to­gether friends, fam­ily and com­mu­ni­ties to help each other on their quest to reach their per­sonal best – Vir­gin Sport aims to change the health and wellness game.

“Fit­ness and well­be­ing is an area that is par­tic­u­larly close to my heart,” says the ef­fer­ves­cent Mr Bran­son. “One of my great­est mem­o­ries is cross­ing the fin­ish­ing line of the Vir­gin Money Lon­don Marathon with my daugh­ter Holly and son Sam in 2010, feel­ing an un­ri­valled sense of sat­is­fac­tion and achieve­ment, born from many months of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion.

Vir­gin Group founder Richard Bran­son is a fit­ness fa­natic.

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