Looking forward to 2020
By Neil Perkins
It has been a roller-coaster 12-months at Henrietta Street Gym. I am as excited as I have ever been about the direction we are taking and the foundations we’ve put into place to continue our upward trajectory for 2020 – watch this space.
At the start of 2019, everyone was mentioning Anarchy 45 and F45. I was resolute that as long as we keep our building fresh and equipment updated that these designer studio’s will struggle to keep up with us. What separates us from other gyms isn’t our equipment, showers or changing rooms – it is our service and our team, this is where we have took a leap forward in 2019. Anarchy 45 are long gone and as for F45 – you’re welcome to pay twice the price for half the quality if you need a fresh environment to train in.
A business is like a long-term relationship, you have moments when you are madly in love and moments when you are indifferent to it, the last 12 months have re-kindled my love with fitness and with my business. I am open to admit that the team we launched Henrietta Street Gym with in 2017 and into the start of 2018 was woeful. The consequence of a disgruntled owner who was facing battles in his personal and business life meant the gym lacked leadership and direction. From the tail end of 2017 I have not only become a better human being I have become a better business owner.
I had to acknowledge where I was, get a direction on where I wanted to go, leverage assistance where I needed it and take responsibility for everything that went wrong – the buck stopped with me. Waifs and strays in the coaching team do not last long and we have clear direction on what we can expect our members to achieve and what I expect my team to deliver.
We have collected a team of coaches who are goal driven and are the lifeblood of the brand. For anyone that has ever managed a team or staff, it can be challenging. I am embracing it now and celebrating their development as much as the gyms.
Anthony Rogan continues to inspire, an ultra-marathon in the Namibia desert finished his fitness filled year. Ste Foster was the man people said couldn’t run a PT company – he has had more success stories than some PT’s have clients and his programming for Barbell Club has kept members progressing all year. Paul Caldbeck will be missed when he goes to the USA, the short chapter he spent with us, Raw HIIT Cardio was one of the many positive impressions he will leave on us. Arron Seera and ‘H’ have slotted in and found valuable places in the team add their own dimension to the gym. Dan Husdon is like the song from The Streets ‘fit but you know it’ has mastered coaching people for boxing and is now expanding his diary above his five-star boxing coaches into S&C work. This year Jamie Cahill runs 100 miles in 24 hours – again he continues to inspire.
One of our main words for 2020 is personal development. All of the above have demonstrated this, but the one that truly signifies that is Dan Tucker. Originally the ‘runt of the litter’ of three apprentices, he was cast aside and left to work on a freelance basis with limited experience. He has developed into a top boxing coach and is a valuable member of the team – you couldn’t imagine the gym without him now.
I have always maintained that when you hire a coach you should always hire someone that has achieved the goal that you are trying to reach or has guided someone else on the journey. All of this forms personal development and your goal may change, but your desire for personal development should always be there. All my coaches are continually striving to become better versions of themselves.
In 2020 we will continue to develop our own apprentices, we’ve already lined two more to join the team at the mid-point of next year, watching them develop is a key point. I have three new Strength & Conditioning coaches coming on board, again I have leveraged my experience of ‘lessons in the trenches’ and taken young hungry coaches who are keen to develop and learn – not egos that no better and unfortunately that the fitness industry is flooded with. What is key to their development is the right community and with our existing team how can you not be inspired to be a better version of yourself when you work in this community? Community is my second word of 2020.
It is our community that encourages people to develop and we appreciate that this goes beyond a burpee jump. I’ve set a goal of four external races and four internal fitness games to be added to our schedule for 2020, this is to enrich our community. With these offering something above and beyond those who wan to box on a show, we will continue to bring like-minded and goal driven people who want to achieve personal development into our thriving community.
Our pilot schools boxing project gave me an insight to the social inequality that exists in our city. Within a stones throw of the gym there are multiple schools who face issues with disenfranchised children, our schools project pilot was a huge success and the newly formed Jewellery Quarter Community Boxing project will offer these children a lifeline for community integration and social change by providing them with an after schools project – this will work with three educational establishments and run five days per week. This will be the default charity for all gym events and will ensure that this wonderful building and inspirational coaching team are open to all.
Mick Maguire is still heading up the amateur boxing team – Jewellery Quarter Boxing Club. This year we have become a real force in boxing with the crowing of a national champion. Linked to the Jewellery Quarter Community Boxing project, again we are providing direction for the young men and women who want to become the best that they can be.
We start the year at 281 members and have space for 39 more. I look forward to nurturing the right members and staff to enrich our little slice of the Jewellery Quarter. Thanks to an amazing team and an inspirational cohort of members for a memorable 2019.
Some people would call what I do work, with what I am surrounded with every day, I would call it an honour. Self-development all the way in our kick-ass community for 2020.