ALFA Facility Manager’s Networking Breakfast Wrap Up

ALFA Networking Breakfast Panel DiscussionThe ALFA Networking Breakfast (#ALFANB14) was conducted on Friday 4 April 2013 in conjunction with the Australian Health & Fitness Expo and sponsored by Links Modular Solutions and The Retention People.

Community Leisure Facility Managers from across Australia came together to network, share experiences and develop lasting relationships, whist learning from industry experts. The seventy-five people in attendance participated in an interactive panel session on current trends within the Fitness & Health industry and what Community Leisure Facility Manager’s need to do to remain ahead of the curve in this highly competitive industry.  [Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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The Importance Of Networking For Leisure Facility Managers

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” – Sound familiar?

ALFA Facility Manager Networking Breakfast - Networking

To succeed in business, you must continually connect with new people, cultivate your relationships and leverage your network.

These days, having a strong network of industry colleagues that you can ask advice of, seek assistance from, or exchange information with, can be more valuable to your success in business than the best college education. [Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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WaterMarc Gets Ultimate Seal Of Approval

I was fortunate enough to attend the WaterMarc members only VIP pre-opening event on 1st September 2012 to see firsthand what all the fuss is about and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was extremely impressed!

WaterMarc is a multi activity leisure centre in Greensborough, Victoria. It is the largest aquatic and recreation facility in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and it has all the bells and whistles you would expect of a new facility of this magnitude, topped off with extremely friendly and helpful staff focusing on the customer experience. [Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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Are Poorly Designed Suburbs Creating An Epidemic Of Chronic Diseases That Will Cost The Health System Millions?

Today I appeared on the front page of The Age in Melbourne.  I would like to say it was because of my good looks, but the rather unflattering photo of my children and I indicates that this was not the case. The reason I was front and centre taking up most of the cover of one of the countries most read publications (as well as most of page 15) was because there was a major issue that is affecting many new communities throughout Australia that needed maximum exposure.

I got the gig as they needed a family in my suburb that could speak on the issue of urban design and how it can affect the health of families. As the Public Relations Officer of the Point Cook Action Group (PCAG), a role I perform in my “spare time”, I was happy to volunteer my image and comments, as this is something I am very passionate about. The PCAG is currently lobbying all levels of Government on the unsustainable and “unhealthy” development that is taking place in our neighbourhood without adequate infrastructure to support it. [Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your ALFA National Commercial Supplier Membership

The word is out!  And ALFA is experiencing an unprecedented level of interest from companies of late wishing to become National Commercial Supplier (NCS) members.  These are exciting times and whilst I have been happily espousing the many benefits that our NCS membership now offers to these prospects as I field the various telephone enquiries, respond to emails or discuss the benefits in person, I have been thinking more and more that many of our current NCS members just aren’t making full use of all the benefits we have on offer to them and I want to change this.

So here are the benefits of NCS membership and my advice for accessing each of these benefits to get the most value out of your membership for your company:

Australasian Leisure Management Magazine Discount Advertising

The Australasian Leisure Management magazine is the premier magazine for decision makers and professionals in the leisure industry in Australia and New Zealand, with a circulation of over 10,500 industry personnel: academics, business owners, governments, investors, managers, manufacturers and suppliers, students and others. The magazine also has a growing readership in Asian countries. Australasian Leisure Management includes news, features and debate covering Aquatics, Attractions, Entertainment, Events, Fitness, Parks, Recreation, Sport, Tourism and Venues.  All ALFA members receive the Australasian Leisure Management magazine for free as part of their membership (annual subscription usually $70).

ALFA NCS members are entitled to a 15% discount on advertising rates in the Australasian Leisure Management magazine.  This equates to a discount of $150 for a quarter page casual rate advertisement (normal cost $1,000 – ALFA commercial members cost $850); and a discount of $450 for a full-page casual rate advertisement (normal cost $3,000 – ALFA commercial members cost $2,550).  So if you haven’t done it already, contact Australasian Leisure Management and discuss an advertising package that would best suit your needs (don’t forget to mention that you are an ALFA member to gain access to the discount). [Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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FitnessBiz Presented Many Opportunities For Leisure Facilities

A couple of weeks back I attended 2011 FitnessBiz in Melbourne, hosted by JT Active Management and proudly supported by a raft of sponsors (as pictured).  This is the second year that I have attended this event.  Last year I went as a guest of Ezypay and gained so much value from it that I put my hand in my pocket this year and paid the $155 to ensure I wasn’t missing out on the latest developments in the fitness industry this year.  Whilst this event is pitched at the private health club owners and managers, it is as equally relevant for community leisure facilities and it was great to see some of the ALFA alliance members present such as Reservoir Leisure Centre and a couple of YMCA facilities.

Justin Tamsett commenced the day by providing an overview of changes in the industry in the past twelve months and predictions for the future.  It was interesting to see that whilst there has been a significant increase in the number of 24hr franchise gyms such as Anytime Fitness, Jetts and Snap Fitness 24-7 pop up all over the country, however there are no statistics to demonstrate that there is an increase in people working out (still only 9% of Australians are gym members).  This may be due to the fact that people who join 24/7 clubs are often members of two clubs (I fell into that trap initially and after 4 weeks cancelled my 24/7 membership as I had only used it once) or are they just poaching members from other facilities (i.e. yours)?

[Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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Are The Aquatics/Leisure Strategies Of Our Local Councils Heading In The Wrong Direction?

Point Cook – A unique suburb

I live in Point Cook, which is located within one of Australia’s fastest growing growth corridors. The population explosion in Point Cook has outpacing the provision of infrastructure such as public transport and local community facilities.  For example the next leisure facility for the area is not planned to be constructed and operational until 2021, despite our current facilities being close to capacity and unaccessible to many.

Our suburb is also cut off from neighbouring suburbs and their infrastructure, being uniquely bordered by Port Phillip Bay to the East, market gardens to the South, the Princess Freeway to the West (with only two freeway crossing points) and a one road access toward Altona and Williamstown to the North. With road congestion, no train/tramline and a limited bus route and timetable, accessing facilities outside Point Cook provides difficult at the best of times.

Local residents call for action

This isolation is proving too much for many of the residents in our suburb, but calls for action to address these issues, such as a detailed submission to council to request a review of their aquatic strategy to take into consideration the unique nature of our suburb seem to be falling on deaf ears. So yesterday, local residents (including my three young children and I) took a different approach, embarking on a trip to our local pool via public transport to get our message across.

[Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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What Difference Does Winning The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Mean For Australian Leisure Facilities?

The Gold Coast’s Broadwater Parklands came alive at 8am on 13th November as the announcement was made that the Gold Coast had won the bid (43-27 votes) to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games ahead of the emerging Sri Lankan city of Hambantota.

The Commonwealth Games will be held from 4-15 April 2018, with the majority of the events to be held on the Gold Coast.  The exceptions are track cycling and shooting, which are proposed to be conducted at Brisbane based venues, whilst the preliminary rounds of the men’s and women’s basketball competition will be held in Cairns and Townsville respectively.

Immediately reports were surfacing that the Commonwealth Games are predicted to deliver $2 billion in economic benefits to the Gold Coast and approximately 30,000 jobs in the next seven years.

[Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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ALFA is on Google+, Are You?

Google+ Pages for businesses and brands were released today and ALFA immediately took this opportunity to set up a Google+ Business Page, enabling the ALFA Alliance to connect with a whole new community of on-line users.

Since ALFA’s inception, ALFA has embraced the use of social media as a means of connecting and engaging with the industry.  As well as the new Google+ Page, ALFA’s social media presence includes Facebook,TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.  The recent addition of the ALFA Blog has proven successful in sharing industry expertise and generating peer-to-peer discussion on industry issues, with social media playing a big role in the sharing the content and discussions generated on this blog.

[Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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YMCA Undercover Boss Australia – Lessons Learnt

I am not one to watch reality TV shows, but made the exception last night to watch ALFA member, industry colleague and Chief Operating Officer of YMCA, Nick Cox, take off the tie and return to his roots volunteering in a range of roles for the YMCA as “Undercover Boss”.

Nick donned his disguise as “Chris Williams” to experience some of YMCA’s programs and services firsthand to gain unique and valuable insights into the organisation.

I loved watching Nick (I mean Chris) at Camp Yarramundi (NSW) where he almost got kicked in the head by an abseiling kid, tangled in a rope whilst attempting to wind it up and dropping the “s” word in front of the kids as he got catapulted on some sort of bungey like trapeze.  If that had’ve been me, I probably would’ve said a lot worse.

[Read more...]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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