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A Family Sports Centre Membership has Changed our Lives

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By Al Ferguson

Al Ferguson is the CEO and founder of The Dadsnet.

Published on 06/07/2018

I know what you’re thinking, a title like that might be a bit of an exaggeration… but no… it really isn’t.

Since we became members of our local sports centre, our life as parents really has been transformed.

The Drop of a Hat

Parenthood is filled with ‘tear-your-hair-out moments.’ The kids are climbing the walls, the house is in need of tidying, the dishes need washing and the laundry bin emptied. In these moments occupying the kids can feel like such a daunting task, and of course, you don’t just want to dump them in front of the box!

Having your family membership can mean that at any point you can pop down to the sports centre for a whole host of reasons ranging from swimming to soft play to simply watching the tennis coaching!

It’s become our go-to activity.

Our local centre is a Fusion Lifestyle facility and we’re lucky that it has a small soft play area. The times we’ve dropped everything, bundled the kids out of the door and hit the soft play are countless and each time, it’s been a lifesaver!

Even if you have just 30 minutes to fill; being members mean you can use it for small amounts of time, or every day – it doesn’t matter. But it’s not just the soft play. I’ve frequently taken Teddy down for an impromptu swim and we swim far more regularly now than we ever did before. Our sports centre is on our doorstep and we know we can go as many times as we please with no extra cost. We certainly make the most of this and sometimes visit more than once a day!

Early Mornings

Before we were members at Fusion, Saturday mornings were much harder to find ways to occupy the kids – primarily because nothing was open. (Our children wake any time from 5am!) Our go-to activity was walking round B&Q because it was the only place open early! ( Our local B and Q opens at 7am!)

Until now!  Sports centres often open early, meaning that it’s a great option for those early risers. Almost every week we’re in the pool at 8am; often with no-one else except a couple of other tired parents who are sensible enough to also have a membership!

Having this as an early morning option really does alleviate the stress of a weekend early morning. It also means one parent can have a lie-in whilst the other takes them to the sports centre! Win-win!

Swimming Lessons

Swimming is a life skill that ALL children should learn. A lot of membership packages will include swimming lessons for the kids, which, when you weigh up everything that is included in the membership, it’s a far cheaper way for your children to learn how to swim.

Both Teddy (4) & Isla (6) have had swimming lessons at Fusion and both have made amazing progress. Their swimming teacher is sensational and provides really personalised lessons that consider each child’s differing strengths and needs. Both children thoroughly enjoy the sessions and their confidence in the water has improved enormously. Our Saturday mornings are now are filled with swimming lessons and soft play and it’s all covered in our membership.

Health & Fitness

Whilst the benefits for the kids are countless, both Jen and I have benefited greatly too. Our gym membership is included in our package which also covers fitness classes. Jen has turned into a gym bunny and looking sensational as a result (!) and I’ve been plugging away trying to shift a few pounds.

It’s important to state that the induction process for all of us was sensational. The instructors were fantastic and coached us through personalised training plans to suit our individual goals. Jen had very little experience working with some of the machinery but was expertly shown how to use everything. 

We both feel better in ourselves for the exercise and the results that we are starting to see. It’s clinically proven that physical activity benefits mental health, stress and anxiety – all of which are pitfalls parents can fall into. Carving out an hour or 2 a week to go to a class or pop to the gym has been so good for us both. Jen suffers from mental health issues and attributes her daily exercise classes to reducing her anxiety and improving her self-confidence. For me personally, taking an hour out of my non-stop work schedule alleviates stress and exhaustion. We both feel better in ourselves for taking some time out.

This then has a knock on effect on our relationship and our parenting.

There’s no doubt in my mind that from having a family membership at our local Fusion Lifestyle sports centre, we all feel so much better – kids included!

There are other aspects to memberships too. Access to racket sports facilities whether it be tennis, badminton, squash or table tennis. With a teenage sport-nut in the house, having the option to book a weekly court is an excellent way to spend time together. At our local Fusion Sports Centre, they also have some under-16 gym sessions throughout the week meaning Louis has the opportunity to get into the gym and use the facilities. They have plenty of instructors on hand to answer any questions and make sure they’re using the equipment correctly. It’s a fantastic way for teenagers to develop independence yet train safely under the watchful eye of the experts.

I do understand that for many the expense of a family membership can be a stretch, but for us, we’d be very prepared to cut back on so many other financial elements to our life before the family membership goes! Once you consider that the membership includes the gym, classes, swimming lessons, racket sports and the soft play, all for the entire family the cost is extremely reasonable. 

Have a look at whether you have a local Fusion Lifestyle Sports Centre near you; if you do, it’s worth enquiring about a membership – trust me, it will make a huge difference to family life and you wont look back!

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