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David Allan: members ‘need to see strong value in belonging to’ Fitness Australia
Taking on the role of Chairman of Fitness Australia last November, David Allan is now leading the peak body into a new era.
With newly appointed Chief Executive Bill Moore in post, Allan is aware that the fitness industry’s peak body is facing up to a range of challenges.
Allan recalls how, about 10 years ago, he realised that for the fitness industry to continue its success and be sustainable it needed a strong body to address key issues. He witnessed first-hand all of the work that Fitness Australia and an industry taskforce did to combat the music copyright issue that, at that time, presented a serious challenge to the industry.
As he remembers “the way this issue unfolded really crystallised the importance of having a strong association which can work for the benefit of the whole industry.”
One of Allan’s goals as Chairman is to put context and voice where industry sees as an important focus.
He explains “as a team we have a strong focus on demonstrating the strong value in engaging and being part of the peak industry association.
“To influence the industry my fellow directors, the Fitness Australia team and I need to continue to deliver on the mid-term and longer term strategies of the association.”
Fitness Australia has undertaken two independent research pieces in the past 12 months. The first was a full member research piece, the second a Profile of the Fitness Industry which was split into four sections - Workforce, Businesses, Consumers and Trends.
Commenting on the findings, Allan adds “as the industry continues to mature, the level of competition will increase.
“Fitness business owners and registered exercise professionals will continue to assess their business expenses, including items such as professional registration and membership with Fitness Australia.
“As a peak body we need to be cognitive that all members and registered exercise professionals need to see strong value in belonging to the peak body, or being on the Register. This is an area that the Fitness Australia team are working on and we look forward to introducing some exciting new developments in this area shortly.
“In my view the prominent matter is that we need to be under continual evaluation; listening to our member needs and demands, and improving where possible to meet these needs.
“We’re committed to a continuous industry research strategy to better inform industry providers and the public, while allowing Fitness Australia to continuously develop resources and advocacy initiatives to meet the evolving needs of our industry.
“One of these strategies is to host ‘listening tours’ where the other Fitness Australia Directors and I will sit in a room with fitness providers in a focus group style. These are already underway.”
As to how the industry will grow and develop, Allan sees that the industry has some work to do in maintaining a highly skilled workforce that is able to provide business operators the ability to meet, and hopefully exceed the increasing expectations of the consumer.
He sees that “an area that will require increasing discussion and action is in the area of looking at the broader concept of health and wellness, rather than just purely physical fitness.
“This will include key areas such as nutrition and behavioural coaching. We’re seeking further clarification from all stakeholders in the industry as to the key skills and competencies required, and this will need to be then reflected in lobbying for changes to the national training package.
“I also see that we need to get serious about providing opportunities for career longevity. To date the fitness industry has been very transient, and the long term success of fitness businesses, as they expand to meet the consumer’s needs, will be to have long term career paths for the trainers of the future.”
David Allan, Chairman of Fitness Australia’s Board of Directors
Working in his local fitness centre and starting his sports science degree almost 30 years ago, Allan recalls his father asking him when he’d ‘get a real job’.
Elected as Chairman of Fitness Australia’s Board of Directors in November last year, Allan was a senior executive at Fitness First Australia from 2000 to 2012, Allan founded group training studio 38X Fitness in 2013.
He has been a Director of Fitness Australia since 2011.
David Allen, along with Bill Moore, was interviewed in the March/April issue of Australasian Leisure Management.
To read the full feature, subscribe to Australasian Leisure Management at www.ausleisure.com.au/magazine/subscrib/
For more information on Fitness Australia go to www.fitness.org.au
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