It’s been about 5 or 6 years since I left my role in Sport Development, however, in all that time, I never lost my passion for health, fitness, sport and wellbeing. Since then, I’ve managed to see so many more perspectives of the industry through blogging, working in leisure management, working in retail and also as a studio instructor and personal trainer.
A few months ago, I was asked to be one of the judges for the Elevate London Innovation Awards which sit alongside the Elevate Trade Show. As a current Masters student in Management and Business Innovation it made perfect sense for me and was a great experience to be a part of. And the day itself was an interesting one…
Judging the Elevate London Innovation Awards
The day started off with all the judges getting together for a briefing before getting into small groups (3 in mine) to make our way around the show and meet the brands. We were judging a handful of entries from the Best Workout Innovation category, Best Start Up and Best Innovation for Human Performance. We spent ten minutes at each stand finding out about the products, how they came about and typically, where the business was going.
I saw some interesting concepts, from a workout on a pogo stick to ergonomic grips for use on cable machines. But personally, there was nothing for me that would fit into my life right now… like, nothing I wanted to buy there and then.
Catching Up With Familiar Faces
Having accepted my place a judge, to be honest, I kind of didn’t get a chance to check out what the show was fully about. I then realised on my way there when I bumped into some former colleagues that had I still been in my previous Sport Development roles I probably would’ve been at the show.
I got to see some people who I haven’t seen for maybe 6 years… having met at similar shows in the past. It was quite the blast from the past but at the same time it was great to realise that I was still making a contribution to an industry I am truly passionate about!
Networking at Elevate London…
I spent some time after my judging duties wandering around meeting people, checking out what’s new in the fitness industry and getting inspiration for my course. I wandered into the COPA show and had the chance to meet Dr Shane who invented Gravity – it’s a fascinating device that helps correct posture amongst other things which I’m currently trying out. We had a good chat about where the idea for the product came from and his ethos.
I popped over to the Water Rower stand to find out a little more about them as they are the brand that Frame use in classes. I’ll be adding a new class which uses the Rower to my schedule next month so I figured it was a good opportunity for learning.
Can There Be Any Innovation In Fitness?
This was the question that was on my mind during the show. Mainly because my current modules at University are Digital Business and Entrepreneurship & Innovation; I’ve been tasked with writing an essay on a digital business / digital product and there is nothing in fitness that I could think of to write about. I find that fascinating as the world is becoming very digital so does that mean that fitness will be left trailing behind? I know there are some companies and concepts out there offering virtual training / classes but nothing, in my opinion, that’s disrupting the market just yet.
And part of that may come down to the fact that there is nothing new to be created in fitness. The root of fitness is in moving the body and there are only so many ways to do that. Most of the big names (brands and people) in fitness aren’t really doing anything new. They’re packaging up the same exercises, the same theories and the same science in new brands. That’s what we’re buying into these days… the people and the brands.
So personally, I’m glad that my interest in fitness goes beyond teaching classes and training people. That’s a side that I absolutely love but I also have an interest in the people themselves that are doing so… how they work, how they are managed, how they can be developed. I also have an Interest in the operational side of things… probably boring stuff to most people, but problem solving, organising processes, building a brand… and I’m excited to continue to gain more experience from slightly more unusual places than most have in the past and use that to work with brands and people in the future…