Determining Interest, Part 2

The policy even covers a certified instructor traveling from one location to another. Being able to travel to different locations holds a lot of value, especially for personal trainers. Irvine, Calif.-based personal trainer and in-line skating instructor Jerry Tyler offers his clients as many different options as possible — in the club and outside — to keep them interested.

From a financial perspective, he is “cashing in” on in-line skating lessons. Tyler feels it is important for his clients to complement indoor traditional workouts like strength training and aerobics with outdoor sports. “Everybody wants to learn how to skate. In-line skating is one way I can provide affordable training for a well-balanced program so fitness becomes a lifestyle.”

Chicago attorney Frances Krasnow, who specializes in health club law, says it’s not likely anyone would sustain injuries through off-the-premise health club activities any more than participating in sports or even at home. If anything, injuries would be reduced because of the attention to safety and precautions taken by health clubs, including having a sound insurance policy. Krasnow also suggests that a signed waiver with verbal education about the risks involved is a good idea.

[Note: Of seven health club industry insurance carriers interviewed for this article, only one said “not interested.” All others said they would require education from the health club about the sport, but they were completely open to the idea.]

Follow the lead of other clubs. “All sports involve some degree of risk,” says Frick, “assuming the risk is worth the fun. But, for now, don’t do anything that’s not considered normal. Follow the lead of other facilities who have already had in-line skating on their schedules.”

Sharon McPherson is special events programming coordinator for the ClubSport at Pleasanton in Northern California. Diversification of activities is the theme of McPherson’s Body Revival, a fitness convention celebrating its 11th year this October. “We offer programming for people who aren’t just into riding the stationary bike or stair-climbing,” says McPherson. Along with traditional fitness trends like step, funk and aerobics classes, Body Revival pioneered the idea of in-line skate programming in the health club by offering skating sessions years before other fitness organizations even thought of doing so. Now, her club is looking at the possibility of offering regular weekly classes taught by IISA-certified instructors.

Select appropriate locations and group surfaces. Until skating is recognized as a “normal” health club activity, most insurance carriers will require you to stay on facility property to conduct clinics. On premises at the ClubSport Pleasanton is a huge parking lot that rarely fills up. “We are also considering converting one of our tennis courts into a skating rink,” McPherson says. “Roller-hockey is a really popular sport [among] kids and adults. With our focus on family fitness, we want to provide a place for members to play.”

Converting a tennis court to a roller-hockey rink is not a new idea. A couple of years ago, the only places you’d catch a glimpse of roller-hockey was in vacant lots, parking structures and in abandoned or damaged tennis courts.

Recognizing the popularity of roller-hockey and in-line skating in the small mountain community of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., the Parks & Recreation Commission agreed to renovate two damaged community tennis courts into a roller-hockey rink.

The plan was inexpensive and has proved a worthwhile decision for the commission. “It didn’t cost a dime and took two volunteers about two hours to complete the project,” says Susan Veasy, city recreation manager.

“It required taking the nets down, pulling the posts, filling those holes and some large cracks. That’s it.” Veasy added that it would take the same amount of time to put the posts and nets back up if necessary.