Creating Opportunities in Lockdown

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June 22 was like any other Tuesday. The unsightly plastic front desk screens that we had all become accustomed to were finally down, the gym was pumping, classes were buzzing, and the pool was full of life again.

Life was feeling like pre-Covid lockdown times, and the atmosphere was electric.

A discussion was taking place at the end of the reception area between Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness CEO, Ed Smith and a few senior Customer Service Assistants.

The group reflected on how it was almost twelve months to the day that the gym had opened its doors up after the first lockdown.

Looking back, that conversation had to have been cursed, by the end of that week, Sydney was put into an initial two week stay-at-home order.

Those two weeks quickly turned into 15 weeks, devastating for both our members and staff, who had no idea when the lockdown would end.

The financial and operational impacts on the business were huge, as the lockdown’s regulations were a lot harsher than what we’d seen in 2020.

Despite the extreme challenges this latest lockdown had thrown at us, it provided us with the opportunity to learn, adapt and be creative with how we raise revenue and keep members engaged.

Equipment Hire

One of the key learnings from this lockdown was that our members were genuinely keen to continue with their training.

This, and the knowledge that our equipment was collecting dust while we were all waiting to come back, sparked an unexpected revenue stream.

All our new Body Pump sets and spin bikes went to temporary new homes. The RPM Studio and Group Fitness Studio had never looked so empty!

It was great knowing we could contribute positively to our members lockdown experience even if they weren’t training in our facilities.

Tennis Court Hire

Tennis court hire was a saving grace for many in our community. It provided members with an outlet to escape the house and enjoy the freedom of being outdoors in the sun.

For the first time in a long time, our courts were booked out for the whole day. Saturdays and Sundays were extremely popular, with weekdays after 5pm being prime-time.

Moving forward, we are confident the demand will remain the same.

New Retail Projects

Our ROAR Store apparel offerings have expanded. Socks, tights and towels are just some of our newest additions.

With summer now approaching, our Speedo swimwear range has been upgraded to make sure our customers have access to the latest designs.

Now with a little more time on our hands, planning for an online store is underway. This is unchartered territory for us but one we are excited to pursue.

Make Overs

Just like the first lockdown, we saw this as a time to roll up our sleeves and give our facilities some TLC.

In amongst a whole host of maintenance, the pool deck at SUSAC received some re-grouting, the Arena had some revamping, and new irrigation was installed on our sports fields.

We pride ourselves on providing a world-class facility and so our constant improvements are driven by wanting to create a space that our members are proud to call their home.