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Gymtopia. A place where clubs do social good

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Toupee for a Day – Raise $50 and get a toupee for a day. Show that people are not alone

Helping those in need through exercise Calgary and Edmonton, Canada

We give back to our communities and support organizations who foster wellness initiatives for people in need. We do so by providing programming and fundraising through exercise activities. We support two main charities along with public schools through a number of annual initiatives. These include the World Health Games, Toupee for a day, Annual Golf classic and Summer Fitness Party, all in support of Wellspring Calgary. We also run our “Train the Trainer” toy drive in support of the Women’s Centres. We also provide our Mobile Fitness Unit programming to area public schools at no charge.


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?


The fitness brand has so far raised US$100,000 for the EquiCenter charity

Movement, Community, Service – Midtown Athletic Club Rochester, New York State, USA

This is the story of how Midtown Athletic Club located in the American state of New York has for more than forty years used generosity to build strong community connections. It is written by Ray Algar, founder of Gymtopia.

I have long been interested in how connected and rooted a club is within its immediate community. When a health club opens in a neighbourhood, it plugs into both its infrastructure and community of people. It can be likened to a symbiotic (from Greek – ‘living together’) relationship as found in nature. When I look at some of the world’s most remarkable health club brands, I often discover a strategic intent that they play a proactive part in the prosperity of the community; they are not just there harvesting its resources. They forge a reputation for compassion and generosity and over time become an influential, valued and integral part of the community. So this month, I want to share the story of how Midtown Athletic Clubs in the United States has embraced a strong sense of corporate citizenship and a wider definition of community to enable its clubs to flourish even as the competitive landscape intensifies. In just five years time, this privately owned business celebrates its 50th anniversary so I believe there is a lot we can learn from this mature brand.


Jubilee Hall leisure centre users taking part in a group exercise class to raise money for the Nepal earthquake appeal

Jubilee Hall gyms fund raise for Nepal Earthquake Appeal Nepal, South-Central Asia

The earthquake in Nepal on Saturday 25 April 2015 severely affected at least eight million people. Throughout June and July of 2015, staff and members at two of our London gyms – Jubilee Hall in Covent Garden and The Armoury in Hampstead – helped to raise money by undertaking various fitness challenges.