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Life Fitness extends partnership with Serco Leisure to deliver Stoke Mandeville Stadium gym upgrade

The site has implemented a number of strategies to help promote its services for people with disabilities in-line with the facility’s status as the national centre for disability sport.

Tuesday 19 November, 2019 – Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury recently completed a full gym refurb in partnership with Life Fitness.

The site was acquired by More Leisure Community Trust and its managing agent Serco Leisure in 2018; as part of its long-term objectives, More Leisure plans to make significant enhancements to the facility, including improvements to its sports and fitness provision.

A major part of the Stadium’s redevelopment strategy was focused on improving facilities for users with disabilities; research carried out by the site backed this decision, with approximately 13,000 people with physical disabilities and a further 20,000 with learning disabilities in the surrounding area. 

Consequently, a gym equipment upgrade was completed in partnership with Life Fitness, to improve the site’s inclusivity and ensure it meets the needs of users of all ages and training abilities.

Equipment was installed from across Life Fitness’ brand portfolio, including strength equipment from Cybex’s Prestige Total Access line, designed for inclusive use and in-line with IFI (Inclusive Fitness Initiative) standards.

Cardio equipment from Life Fitness was also installed, alongside Hammer Strength lifting platforms and IC8 bikes from Indoor Cycling Group (ICG).

James McDonnell, Inclusive Sport and Fitness Manager at Mandeville Stadium, said: “The new equipment demonstrates the breadth and quality available from Life Fitness. The likes of the Cybex Prestige line have been included to provide advanced adaptability for people with disabilities, with a number of key features designed to improve the accessibility for users.”
The staff are also enjoying using and training members on the new kit, McDonnell added: “The versatility of the equipment has given the trainers more freedom and creativity in their workouts and the feedback from members has been really positive.”

In-line with the equipment upgrade, the group exercise timetable has been tailored to include classes such as adaptive yoga and circuit-based classes, designed to bring together non-disabled members and those with disabilities in the same workout. The gym also offers disability & GP referral membership packages as well as a junior gym offer. 

Stoke Mandeville Stadium is one of more than 50 sites that managing agent Serco Leisure has delivered with Life Fitness, in a partnership which spans over 20 years. 

“Life Fitness remain a key partner in helping us to achieve our objectives across a wide variety of facilities,” said Serco Leisure’s Health and Fitness Manager Jamie Townsend. 

“Our longstanding relationships with Sport England and a range of National Governing Bodies are also key in helping us to provide opportunities to enable as many people as possible to be more active, enjoy sport for fun and for some, progress into national and elite sport; Stoke Mandeville Stadium is a facility that encourages this and the upgraded gym is central to supporting this pathway.”

Life Fitness’ Key Account Manager, Ben Ward, said: “One of our central aims for the gym was to provide a safe, accessible and inclusive training environment for a wide member demographic; the range of equipment available from across our brands enabled us to do just that and we are proud to extend our partnership with Serco to deliver this fantastic facility.” 

As part of Stoke Mandeville Stadium’s aim of expanding its engagement community-wide, the site hosted an Inclusive Sports Day last month. Supported by ukactive and attended by 16-time Paralympic Champion Tanni-Grey Thompson, the event gave visitors the opportunity to try out a range of sports and activities, as well as take part in tours of the National Paralympic Heritage Centre, which is located at the site. 

To find out more visit https://www.stokemandevillestadium.co.uk/