In 2011, at the height of a global recession, Nick Coutts of Fitness Hut, the 2013 award winner, saw an opportunity to provide quality, affordable fitness to a population that was economically stretched and unable to afford membership fees at traditional health clubs.
So Coutts bet big on the fitness industry when he co-founded and introduced Fitness Hut, a disruptive low-cost model in Lisbon. Fitness Hut, which was later acquired by a U.K. private equity company, Bridges Ventures (owner of the low-cost Spanish chain, VivaGym), now operates close to 40 clubs across Portugal.
While Coutts admits to making use of standard “low-cost” strategies—no contract, accessible pricing, and minimal ancillary services—it was the group’s innovative approach to group fitness and personal training, and providing a welcoming environment that set them apart from the competition.
This year’s recipient for the 2019 European Club Leadership Award will be presented during the 19th Annual IHRSA European Congress in Dublin, Ireland, 14-17 October, 2019. The winner will receive a full registration to the Congress.
Apply or nominate someone for the award by completing the application by 13 September, 2019.