Reading 2 mins.
Nutritional advice, spa, hammam… Sports halls are increasingly playing the well-being and leisure card to attract new members and regain breath after the Covid.
A diversification of sports halls since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
“Sport today is a satellite of the well-being economy, in which you have nutrition, spas, organic cosmetics, etc. And our challenge is to be a real ecosystem with the point of ‘entrance to the gym’summarizes to AFP David Amiouni, general manager of the KeepCool network, whose main shareholders got their hands on their competitor Neoness this summer, the whole totaling 300 rooms in France.
Beyond the traditional weight benches and boxing classes, KeepCool already offers sports nutrition products and has just launched a new mobile application “like a fitness Netflix”with some “hundreds of videos sorted by coach and category” as well as nutritional advice. “The dietary offer will be further enriched next year”, promises the leader.
Hammam, sauna, body treatments … 26% of the approximately 6,000 sports halls, fitness centers or yoga studios in operation in France had a “wellness area” in 2021, according to a study carried out by the federation bringing together companies involved in physical leisure activities, Active-FNEAPL, which does not detail the weight of these ancillary activities in the overall turnover.
“For several years, sports halls have been trying to diversify, with saunas, massage rooms, soft activities, relaxation, more personalized coaching, to get the French moving. The Covid and the confinements have made this diversification is compulsory, or in any case the questioning of this diversification”, summarizes Thierry Doll, president of the federation.
He indicates that many sports clubs already offer “corners with nutrition products”but also original versions of sports activities, “like this room in Rouen which organizes cultural jogging to visit historical monuments while running”.
Establishments recommended by physiotherapists
In the L’Orange Bleue network, 9 rooms (out of nearly 400) are developing the “My Wellness Coach” concept, comprising a trio of sports coach, osteopath and dietitian-nutritionist.
“They establish an initial assessment by analyzing, for example, the person’s posture or support, then give advice on eating habits and offer a personalized program as well as an individual coaching session. Sports assessments are redone every four months “, explains Florent Gillet, animator of the Mon Coach Wellness network.
“Osteo is a real plus, we are recommended by doctors and physiotherapists”he puts forward, pointing out that “what also makes the difference with other rooms is our wellness area with sauna, hammam and cryobain, a bathtub at 8 degrees to improve recovery”.
A handful of top-of-the-range fitness clubs are even designed as living spaces in their own right, like the three Parisian gyms owned by Ken Group (Ken Club, Klay and Blanche) which offer a restaurant, juice, swimming pool, spa, exhibition of works of art or even barber and body care services.
At the Blanche club, located in a luxuriously restored private mansion, “you can stay all day: breakfast, sports lessons, professional lunch, dip in the pool and finally a movie preview“, enumerates Thomas Heisser, spokesperson for the group.
“Our core business is sport but not only, and here it’s a cocoon, an extension of your home”, he summarizes. You currently have to wait several months on the waiting list to access the room, whose subscription at 2,200 euros per year is limited to 2,500 members.