Winner the People’s Choice Business of the Year and Industry Innovation Awards, Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre in Western Australia.

Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre in Western Australia won the People’s Choice Business of the Year and Industry Innovation Awards, at the AUSactive industry awards last year. Additionally, one of their rockstar Instructors, Sarah Ford, was named Group Exercise Leader of the Year in the same awards.  Les Mills Asia Pacific caught up with Programs Coordinator, Damon Lee to find out more about what makes this facility so award-worthy.

Having opened in March 2019, Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre (AFAC) in Armadale, Western Australia, is a modern health club featuring state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The timetable boasts over 80 group fitness classes a week, which caters for all fitness levels in an environment that’s designed to motivate and inspire. The centre also has a dedicated cycle studio and a range of aqua fitness classes.

Damon Lee is the Programs Coordinator at AFAC, who said:

“Group fitness is now one of our major programs at the centre, with over 80 classes a week including Les Mills programs, freestyle classes and also Technogym group training sessions; it’s a very busy centre. We lost some of the 6,500 members we had prior to COVID, but we’re now marching back to that number, so we’re very excited about that.”

“One of our biggest attractions is the people that work within the facility. We’re all about making connections with people and we want to make sure that what we’re doing is delivering a personable experience to our members, whether that be through the services that we offer or just the facilities that we provide. We’ve got multiple fitness spaces, aquatic spaces, but also just general leisure facilities, so people can come in and catch up for a simple coffee or to have a chat with a group fitness instructor before their class. Or they may drop their kids off in the crèche for a little bit of downtime or so they can smash out a BODYPUMP®, BODYATTACK® class, or just simple gym workout.”

“We want to make a positive impact within the community, which means putting into action whatever is required to achieve that across a whole range of member demographics, from pensioners all the way through to kids as young as six months of age!”

AFAC also received the Industry Innovation Award, which recognises excellence in new initiatives and the methodology behind them.

The Service as a Priority (SAP) initiative was developed by our Manager of Recreation Services – Coby Halpin and implemented by our Crèche Team Leader Sandra Worthington. It involves all major areas of our facility (group fitness, health club, crèche and aqua), as well as all of our front-facing staff in customer service, sales and membership, and our management staff. How it works is that everyone is aware of specific questions for each area; and the goal is to make sure we’re constantly asking and answering these questions. It’s kind of like a mystery shopper program but internally run. We have 10 surveys per month and they’re done across each area within the centre, and essentially they’re completed randomly by a staff member, or even a general officer who works within the council. So, that person will come down, complete a class and fill out that survey for us. They then provide us with a snapshot over the month, of how instructors are performing. We randomly select which classes to survey, so it’s always a mix.”

“When the information and data is collected, it’s shared with the whole team. The teams then get a breakdown of exactly how they perform and where there are areas for improvement. It gives our team leaders direct action to follow up on, which then means that they can have those positive coaching conversations with the staff members; it’s never done in a negative light. We always do it as a coaching mechanism. It works really well and we’ve definitely seen an increase in customer satisfaction.”

AFAC’s most popular Les Mills classes are BODYCOMBAT® and BODYPUMP®, as well as RPM in their 20-bike studio. “We’re looking to update our RPM studio this financial year, so we’re hoping that will make it even more successful in the future. We also offer BODYBALANCE® and BODYATTACK®.”

“We do regular team bonding with our group fitness instructors. This includes running ‘Toolboxes’, which are meetings where we all sit down as a whole group to talk and learn new things. From what I understand, hosting all instructors on a regular basis is quite rare in the industry but it reflects our brand’s strong sense of community. We’re lucky to have Lee Smith as our Business Partnership Manager from Les Mills Asia Pacific, who has a lot of industry experience and knowledge; so he’s actually come and attended those sessions quite a few times; and the instructors’ faces light up when we tell them we have a special guest coming along! What Les Mills has created is so spectacular – exercising with community and creating a brilliant culture through music and, choreography – we simply can’t thank them enough!”

Click here to read more about Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre or to find out how Les Mills programs can help your centre or club achieve new levels of success contact your local Business Partnership Manager in Australia or Southeast Asia.