Categories and Criteria

Regional Gym of the Year

  1. Scotland
  2. North
  3. South
  4. Midlands & Wales
  5. Northern Ireland

This category is open to any gym; from a small independent to a local authority/leisure trust operated centre or a club which is part of a nationwide chain. While the standard of equipment on offer and size and range of your facilities will be considered, in this category we will be particularly looking at what makes you stand out from other gyms in your area, with a strong focus on marketing, customer service, retention and innovation.

And if you make the shortlist, we will want feedback from both your staff and members on what being part of your club means to them.

You don't have to be the biggest gym in your region or offer the most expensive kit to succeed in this category, but you do have to have the drive, passion and commitment to create a business which is proving to be an essential part of the community you serve.

In short, you will have a facility to be proud of - and will want to shout about it.

Newcomer of the Year

Are you a new gym that's got off to a flying start? Are you filling a gap for quality leisure facilities in your local community or engaging a new audience in exercise? If so, then our Best Newcomer category is for you.

To be eligible for this award, you must have opened your club on December 1 2015 or later - making your business less than two years old on the date of the 2017 National Fitness Awards. Clubs which have been open for longer than this should enter an alternative category.

When it comes to picking our finalists, we'll be looking for evidence of why you set up your club, your biggest successes so far and what your plans are to build on its initial success.

As well as providing details on the equipment and services you provide, we'll also expect you to tell us about your retention figures, branding and marketing strategies, as well as details of who your team members are and the valuable contribution they make to the smooth running of your facility.

This is a hotly contested category and we're looking for the best new gym in the whole of the country, so clubs should make every effort to ensure their entry stands out from the crowd.

Local Authority/Leisure Trust Gym of the Year

This category is open to all facilities managed by local authorities or leisure trusts. Your centre may have made great strides in recruiting and retaining members, or it may have invested heavily in providing great new facilities. We're looking for gyms that are at the heart of the community with a wide offering for all types of members. Perhaps you have extra facilities like a swimming pool or spa. We want to hear about how you make a difference and how your facility stands out from the rest. Entrants should outline exactly why they are worthy contenders.

Best Hotel Facility of the Year

Aimed at those hotels (independents or part of a chain) who provide their guests and fitness members with above average facilities. You will need to provide details of exactly what makes you stand out from the crowd, whether it's outstanding service or the facilities you offer, from a state of the art gym to a full size swimming pool, this is your chance to shout about it.

Budget/Low-cost Gym of the Year

You may have launched directly into the budget sector or be an existing operator who has realigned their business to target this growing market. In order to qualify for this category, your membership fees must be £20 per month or less. You can be independent or chain, but you will be required to provide full details of why you decided to enter the budget sector, your marketing campaign and facilities you provide.

Customer Service Award

Are you proud of the service your facility provides for its members? Do you go the extra mile to offer excellent value for money? Are your members proud to belong to your gym? If so, then this is your category. If your club makes the short list, we will conduct on-site surveys of a cross-section of your members, focusing on their opinions of your club, its staff and the facilities you provide.

Ladies Only Gym of the Year

This category is open to all gyms who specifically target the female market. You will be required to provide full details of why you decided to target this particular area of the industry, your marketing campaign, the facilities you provide and your achievements to date.

Community Involvement

This award will honour the gym or individual who can demonstrate close involvement with their local community. You're more than just a gym to your members and neighbours - you may have raised money for charity, you might work with local schools or senior citizens' groups to raise awareness of health and fitness, perhaps you take your message out to the whole community or go above and beyond to make your community a better, healthier place to be.

Health Club of the Year

Does your club offer a wide range of facilities such as a swimming pool, spa and sauna, together with a well equipped gym? Do your members have access to other fitness activities such as tennis, badminton or a running club? If so, this is the category for you. Your club will stand out from all the others in this highly competitive category, perhaps because of the above average facilities you provide for your members, your inventive marketing campaigns or excellent customer service.

Member Achievement Award

This category gives each gym the chance to boast about their members' achievements. Do you have a member who has overcome adversity or a disability to achieve a personal goal? It may be someone who has overcome the trauma of injuries sustained either in an accident or through fighting for their country, or someone who has managed to lose a substantial amount of weight. You will need to provide details of the original goal, how it was achieved and what role your gym played. Awards will be presented both to the member and their gym.

Strength Training Gym of the Year

This category is aimed at the gyms that focus unashamedly on results. Your membership may be made up of spectacularly successful members in bodybuilding or other competitions. The judges will want to see evidence of this success, how it was achieved and what is being done to sustain it.

Gym Team of the Year

This award will be presented to the team who are able to best demonstrate a shared vision and agreed goals. You'll work as a team to provide the best customer service and member experience as well as being able to demonstrate a commitment to the workplace and respect and support for each other. The team should have an excellent communication process and each member should have a clear defined role and each person's skills should be recognised within the team. Examples of how teamwork has solved a problem or led to improvements or made a difference to either the facility of members should be included.

Combat Zone Gym of the Year

This category is open to gyms that focus on any kind of combat sport. Your gym may have discovered winners in their chosen fields, or it may have a reputation for getting members to excel. The judges will require details of each combat sport covered by your facility, your instructors and evidence of the achievements of your members.

Gym Based Personal Trainer of the Year

This award will acknowledge the importance of the role of the personal trainer within the fitness industry, and the judges will be looking for a person who has shown incredible enthusiasm and determination in identifying the training and development needs of the individual gym members. You will be required to provide details of the trainer's commitment to his/her clients and their achievements. A list of their professional qualifications and whether they are a member of any recognised associations (i.e. REPS, NRPT). Personal trainers must have been operating for a minimum of two years. PTs who have been operating less than two years can enter the newcomer of the year category.

Best Rehabilitation Facility of the Year

This category is open to gyms who are dedicated purely to the rehabilitation market and also those gyms which employ specially trained consultants to deal with GP referrals. You will be required to provide full details of the facilities you provide, the type of patients you treat (coronary heart disease, muscular skeletal diseases, weight problems and respiratory illnesses etc) and the achievements made by both your staff and patients.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This special award will be presented to the man or woman whom the judges believe has dedicated their working life to the industry and who has, as a result, made a long-term outstanding contribution. If you have worked with someone exceptional over the years who has excelled, inspired or have made a difference to the industry please nominate them.

Functional Training Gym of the Year

This award is aimed at clubs which are solely dedicated to functional fitness, as well as traditional gyms that have created dedicated functional areas to tap into this growing trend. You should provide details of why you chose to focus on functional fitness, any specialist equipment you have which makes you stand out from the crowd and any impressive results your members have seen from training in this way.

National Gym of the Year

The winners of the gym categories will automatically be entered for the National Gym of the Year Award.

Group Exercise Gym of the Year

From aerobics to Les Mills Body Pump, group exercise is a consistently popular draw for clubs. We'll be asking to see evidence of your group exercise timetable, any specialist qualifications held by your staff and details of how you promote your classes to members and the wider community. We'll also be looking at the variety of classes you provide, how easy you make it for people to book in to and cancel sessions, and how you are keeping up to date with any new trends in the group exercise world. Our judges will also be conducting on site surveys to find out what customers think of your group exercise offering, as well as taking a tour of your club's facilities to experience the levels of service first hand.