Originally set up by two single mums determined to get fit
around all of life's other responsibilities, the female focused,
family-friendly fitness venture, is now seeing hundreds of women
coming through the doors to join fitness classes every month.
Taking their own, unique approach to women's fitness, founders
Claire Williams and Mel Gill have turned the traditional leisure
class timetable on its head, offering everything from hula-hooping
to burlesque dancing, making activities family and child friendly
and even encouraging hen-dos to build a fitness class or two, into
The pair has one focus when it comes to the operation of their
business - keeping things fun. And their source for
this winning formula - simply listening to and understanding their
Co-Founder Mel Gill comments:
"We started Diva Sport, wanting to provide somewhere that women
like us, could come with their children if needs be and take part
in fitness classes in an environment that they could feel
"We wanted to offer something for all shapes, sizes and ages,
for women who regularly take part in sports and for those who
haven't done a thing since leaving school."Business partner Claire
Williams, who herself has lost almost 5 stone in weight and come
off anti-depressant drugs through regularly participating in
"We understood all of the anxieties that women could feel around
joining fitness classes, we felt them too. So we listened to
what women wanted and we have let that shape everything that we do
since our launch.
"I suppose one of the key factors in Diva Sport is that
everything that we do and offer is always done for fun. Just
as important as having the classes and equipment that women want to
use, is the person who is delivering the class. Our team are
brilliant and ensure that every woman who comes here has a good
Surging numbers since its start-up - which was funded through a
Sport Wales Community Chest Grant in 2011, have now
seen the duo opening a purpose built community centre for their
growing clientele list, the action receiving notable interest from
the nation's media, who took the fun filled approach to heart.
Diva's customer focussed approach has also seen it become an
integral part of the South Wales community, providing opportunities
across Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent,
partnering with local community clubs and schools to offer the
unique Diva approach to fitness, to those who would never walk into
a gym and to young girls; ensuring that they really are offering
something for every woman.
Maintaining their winning, flexible approach to operations,
Claire and Mel are now on a mission to get to every woman in Wales;
their ambition, to roll out the Diva approach to other areas across
Tackling the participation gap the Diva way….
Diva Sport founders Mel Gill and Claire Williams give their top
tips for encouraging more females into sport and leisure
Make it fun
The Diva Sport duo, state that everything that they offer has
fun at the forefront, whether a Zumba, kettlebell, bokwa or
hoopblast class, the emphasis is always put on ensuring that every
woman who attends, enjoys herself.
Think outside of the box
Diva Sport also pride themselves on thinking outside of the box,
offering unique options such Burlesque dance and Roller Skating
classes, all aimed at getting women active in a fun friendly
Diva Founders, Claire and Mel are confident that their flexible
approach, basing decisions primarily on customer feedback and
demand has been another key factor in their success. The pair
recognise that simply listening to what women have wanted has
significantly shaped the way in the which they have operated.
Schools, Street Games, Local Authorities - Diva Sport
has partnered up with many different organisations, looking at
joint approaches of reaching different groups of females.
They also accessed funding from Sport Wales to help with their