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Male group exercise instructor showing the calories expended on his phone which will be converted to free memberships for physically inactive people

Holmes Place supports Portuguese Cardiology Foundation Across Portugal

Holmes Place Portugal has forged a partnership with the Portuguese Cardiology Foundation to raise the issue of physical inactivity among the national population. It is written by Ray Algar, founder of Gymtopia.

‘Month of the heart’ is how Portugal uses May to encourage its citizens to embed just a little more physical activity into their everyday lives. Like many Europeans, the Portuguese are failing to move enough – a European Commission study from 2014 reported that more than six in 10 adults never exercise or take part in sport, ranking the Portuguese 27 from 29 countries. By comparison, Sweden topped the table with fewer than one in 10 never active. Holmes Place – which operates 19 clubs and studios in Portugal – recognised an opportunity to join the national inactivity debate by partnering with the Portuguese Cardiology Foundation. The charitable foundation exists to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, which accounts for three in 10 of all deaths in Portugal. The Foundation believes small lifestyle changes can nudge people towards a healthier future by reducing their risk of heart disease and stroke.


Coffee morning December 2015 at the Functional Zone

Fitness for the physically impaired Cork, Ireland

The functional zone @ LeisureWorld is a gym or area of a gym in our facility in Cork, Ireland with adapted equipment that allows individuals with a physical impairment to train optimally or engage in a sustainable exercise programme.

Users are people who have:

1. Experienced a single neurological event e.g. stroke, acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury etc resulting in physical impairment.

2. Living with a progressive chronic condition such as Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis etc.


Members of  the  Rathfarnham énergie staff team with Ella

Ella’s Wish To Walk Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The team at Rathfarnham énergie Fitness club in Nutgrove Retail Park, Dublin backed Ella’s Wish to Walk all the way and raised €2,000 ($2,215) by hosting a fun family fundraiser on Monday, June 6th 2016. A ticketed Swimming Gala & Pool Party was attended by over 200 locals organised by club manager Eoin Kaar and Ella’s mum Nicola. Three-year-old Ella Doyle was born with cerebral palsy. Ella walks with a walking frame but as time progresses she will need a wheelchair. She now has a life changing opportunity to have pioneering surgery known as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) in the USA, which will help her to walk independently. Her family need to raise €150,000, which will fund the surgery and an intensive 2-year physiotherapy program. They have so far raised €30,000.


Jasmin Kirstein, founder of My Sportlady club in Munich stands with staff and children from an orphanage in Myanmar – Gymtopia.org

My Sportlady forges a place in member’s hearts Munich, Germany

The remarkable story of how the My Sportlady independent club in Munich, Germany is harnessing its altruistic purpose to forge meaningful connections with members and the wider community. It is written by Ray Algar, founder of Gymtopia.

Why feature My Sportlady?

Given there are more than 48,000 fitness clubs and centres across Europe (Source: EuropeActive), I am always fascinated as to why a minority of clubs have a reputation far beyond their operating borders. These days most clubs typically possess similar resources (skilled people, equipment, facilities, programmes etc) – globalisation has seen to that, so why does the story and mission of a 2,000 member woman’s-only club in Germany, spread?