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The Royal National College for the Blind refurbishes thePoint4 to deliver an accessible multi-purpose training facility

  • The community sports complex supports the training of students with visual impairments undertaking personal training qualifications 
  • Also open to the public, the gym aims to cater to a wide-ranging user demographic whilst building confidence and experience for students in a mainstream training environment

Monday 11th February, 2019 – The UK’s leading further education college for young people with visual impairments, the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), recently opened its newly refurbished gym at the onsite community sports complex, thePoint4. 

Open to the general public, the upgraded facility will help the RNC deliver against its objective of supporting the training of young people with visual impairments who are undertaking Personal Training qualifications at the college. The gym will be used as part of their work-based learning, whereby students will train and interact with members to build their confidence in a modern gym environment. 

“The key for us was accessibility; we wanted to create a gym for our students as well as the local community to drive the popularity of thePoint4,’ comments the college’s Commercial Manager, Chris Combe. 

“We needed a modern facility that replicates gyms around the country; one that not only helps to develop our students’ knowledge and skills, but also their independence and confidence when operating in a mainstream gym. We’ve also seen a number of new facilities opening up locally, so it was important for us to improve our offering to remain competitive.” 

Life Fitness worked closely with staff at thePoint4 to identify equipment that would maximise the space available and create an inclusive facility for a diverse membership. Crucial to this was delivering quality equipment that was easy to use and supported the wide-ranging training requirements of the gym’s members. 

Alongside equipment from across Life Fitness’s brand portfolio including the Cybex SPARC and SCIFIT Pro 1 Upper Body Exerciser, the SYNRGY360 was installed; Life Fitness’s modular training system which caters for diverse audiences and has been designed for small group training, one-on-one personal training and individual exercisers.

Training was provided by Life Fitness Academy (LFA) to all staff at thePoint4, who have also created instructional videos for members about each new piece of equipment, containing the appropriate audio and visual cues for the varied audience.

“The entire Life Fitness team – especially our account manager Sam and LFA trainer Keith - fully understood the concept from the outset and bought into our vision of a totally inclusive facility,” explained Chris. 

“Since the install, we have seen memberships rise and a community spirit develop that has reenergised the gym floor. Our personal training team are excited to deliver sessions on the new equipment that educate our members about new methods of training, and our students are becoming increasingly comfortable engaging with the general public, which will be invaluable as they build up their skills ahead of completing their qualifications.” 

Keith Smith, Global Master Trainer for Life Fitness Academy, said: “The RNC is a unique and inspiring environment that develops young people with visual impairments into fitness professionals able to work comfortably in any facility. It is a great example of a dual-purpose facility that has refreshed its offering with simplicity at the core.”

Following member feedback, thePoint4 will launch a new group exercise programme in-line with current industry trends, based around the SYNRGY360, in early 2019.