Customer Success Story
The University of Edinburgh’s Sport and Exercise Department
The University of Edinburgh’s Pleasance Sports Complex & Gym started life in the 18th Century as a brewery and has transitioned since the 1950s into a modern, dynamic 6,000 sq m sports environment. The six-level building features lots of small rooms and sub-terrain arched vaults that were used as air raid shelters during World War II. In 2010 it underwent a major extension to create dedicated free weights, cardio and sport specific areas providing customers with an unparalleled choice in workout space. This year it celebrates 150 years of sport with a record-breaking 18,000 membership, split roughly 80% students to 20% non-students.
The facility provided the first low cost gym in town, pursuing an investment policy around quality, offering state-of-the-art equipment to students, staff and the community, whilst maintaining affordability. In 2015 a world-class 102-station CV gym was created, featuring the top-of-the-line Precor 880 range treadmills, bikes, elliptical crosstrainers and award-winning Adaptive Motion Trainers.
The University recently upgraded again with the roll-out of Precor’s P82 consoles, a new generation of technology designed to give gym users an easy-to-use touch screen experience - further testament to the facility’s determination to stay at the forefront of the fitness industry.
As well as having an Android operating system, each P82 console includes automatic free, seamless software updates when networked, extra fast processing speeds, embedded WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC technology, and is designed to enable exercisers to keep their head, neck and shoulders in an upright, natural position.
Leading fitness equipment supplier and manufacturer Precor has worked closely with the site for over eleven years. Jim Aitken, the University’s Director of Sport and Exercise, explains: “Precor is more than just a supplier – they’ve been our key fitness partner since 2005 and central to the ambitious development plans. The Precor range has given our users an integrated workout experience throughout the venue. Our membership base has grown by over 7,000 (40%) since then, a clear indication of the project’s success.”
Making a positive impact on health and well-being
The University also features a Support for Physical Activity (SPA) programme to encourage inactive staff and students to sit less and move more, making physical activity accessible to those who do less than 150 minutes a week.
While not necessarily gym-focussed, the SPA Programme, alongside the self-help guides on the Precor machines, and complimentary ‘How to Gym’ workshops, help people new to exercise or the gym environment. This is reaping great results and boosting the University’s ambition to be one of the most physically active institutions in the UK.
The University’s culture encourages physical activity at all levels, right up to those with aspirations to succeed on the world stage. At the forefront of performance sport, elements such as specialist coaching, mentoring and sports medicine intertwine with high quality gym spaces and a range of equipment dedicated to help the athletes be their best, such as Precor treadmills for endurance athletes or AMT’s to help recovery if they are injured.
Play. Train. Perform.
Overall, the ingredients of its success in both attracting students and establishing a presence in the community are based on a series of surprising combinations; technology and tradition, the Precor range finds its home in an 18th Century building; health and performance, as the delicate balance between encouraging active lifestyles and elite-level sport is successfully managed. The University of Edinburgh Sport and Exercise strapline of ‘Play. Train. Perform.’ is embodied throughout its day-to-day activities, ethos and standards.