Womens fitness is more fun the Diva way

Sports:

Fitness

Location:

South Wales

With an ever increasing female following, Diva Sport is proving that there really is a winning formula when it comes to tackling that age-old issue of falling female participation numbers.

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 their plans. 

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 customer.

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 comfortable in.

"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 leisure activities,adds:

"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 time."

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 the country. 

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 activities:

 

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 manner.

 

Be Flexible

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.

 

Partner Up

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 initial start-up.

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'What Moves You?' is a campaign on a mission; a mission to get you, the women of Wales, to dig out your trainers and fall in love with sport.

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