Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Branson acknowledges key people behind the expansion of Virgin Active

Branson acknowledges key people behind the expansion of Virgin Active
September 20, 2015

Following his recent visit to Australia, Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson has highlighted the success of key people in the Virgin Active Health Club team, and how they have helped grow the group’s business.

Sir Richard’s visit to Australia saw him announce that Virgin Active is set to undergo a rapid growth phase across Asia Pacific with the number of health clubs increasing from six to around 20 in Australia.

Writing on the Virgin.com website, Sir Richard also admitted that he has never liked going to the gym but that he loves to exercise at Virgin Active, stating “however, I love going to our health clubs, which are so much more than just places to work out adding that they offer “holistic ways to improve their wellbeing and to de-stress.”

A popular and often repeated quote from the Virgin Group founder is “the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers” and within the Virgin Active Health Club, chain, there are many examples of this.

Branson highlighted the importance of Virgin Active’s people, writing “I got chance to look around a couple of our health clubs in some beautiful parts of the world recently – Melbourne and Bangkok.

“Virgin Active Australia Managing Director, Scott Hood, showed me around our (latest) club in Australia, which was brimming with energy and excitement on a sunny Saturday morning.

“Scott’s story of career progression is typical of many within our companies, but no less impressive because of it.

“After joining the second ever Virgin Active in Leeds (United Kingdom) as a receptionist, he went on to become a personal trainer, then operations manager in Leeds, general manager in Derby (also in the UK), GM in Sheffield and GM back in Leeds.

“Then he became regional manager of 12 health clubs in the UK, before being promoted to national operations manager in 2006.

“After a stint as head of fitness, he moved on to become project director in South Africa, then chief operating officer, and then moved Down Under as Australia’s operations director.

“Now, he is in his 13th role with us.

“It is through the hard work of people like Scott and Christian Mason in Asia that Virgin Active is continuing to ramp up our growth plans.

“We now have six thriving clubs in Australia and are planning to grow to 20 clubs in the next few years.

“One thing that has served Virgin Active well is creating ‘intrapreneurs’ who create their own businesses in new markets, such as Luca Valotta, President of Virgin Active Continental Europe, Ross Faragher-Thomas, Managing Director in South Africa, Bernardo De Vicente, President and CEO in Spain and Portugal and Mark Blackman, until recently MD of Virgin Active Australia.

“After taking in an incredibly exciting AFL game - those players must work out at Virgin Active! - I hopped across to Thailand to visit our new fitness club in the stunning EmQuartier mall to see how the team are getting on.

“We launched in Bangkok last year and have got off to a flying start, with our health clubs becoming epicentres for the community as well as places to work out.

“As I walked around the club it was great to see people enjoying the spa, pool, climbing walls and group exercise classes like, Pilates, Yoga and ballet Barre as well as more traditional gym equipment.

“With our third club on its way we will have a V Triangle of Flagships across central Bangkok.

“We will continue rolling out more clubs in both Thailand and Singapore, and should have around 10 clubs in the next few years.

“The enthusiasm for the clubs in Bangkok is palpable.

“We have found Thais are coming to Virgin Active more than two and a half times more compared to our 275 other clubs around the world. In Bangkok, we’ve became a meeting place.

“Rather than going to the pub, people meet up in the health club. They are not just looking to hit the gym; they are looking for holistic ways to improve their wellbeing and to de-stress.

“That’s also one the main reasons I love to exercise - to relax and energise my brain as much as my body.

“On a long, busy trip like the one we’ve been on for the past few weeks, it is so important to fit in exercise whenever and wherever possible.

“But the same can be said when you’re in your hometown, or working long hours at the office or enjoying a break.

“With over 1.4 million members, it’s great to see the world embracing Virgin Active as the one-stop-shop for their health and wellbeing needs.”

Click here to read Sir Richard Branson’s full article on the Virgin Group website.

Image: Sir Richard Branson (top), Scott Hood (middle) and aerial yoga at the new Virgin Active on Melbourne's Collins Street (below).

14th September 2015 - VIRGIN ACTIVE RAMPS UP GROWTH PLANS IN AUSTRALIA AND EAST ASIA

3rd August 2015 - VIRGIN ACTIVE OPENS NEWEST CLUB ON COLLINS STREET IN MELBOURNE

20th November 2014 - VIRGIN ACTIVE OPENS LATEST AUSTRALIAN CLUB

1st April 2014 - VIRGIN ACTIVE OPENS PREMIUM CLUB IN BANGKOK


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

VLOCKER

Vlocker Pty Ltd has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing locker systems worldwide since 1995. Vlocker specialises in providing locker solutions to suit client requirements in…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Safety / Security / Venues

 
 

GLADSTONE MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues

 
 
 

PlayRope

Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Parks / Play / Recreation

 
 

HQH FITNESS

HQH Fitness is an international company that specialises in improving the health, fitness and wellness of people everywhere. We are the South Pacific distributors for Total Gym/GRAVITY Education and…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Vticket

Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Envibe

With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business