Esporta Health Clubs

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Esporta Health & Fitness Clubs (usually known as just Esporta) was a chain of health clubs in the United Kingdom, which also once owned clubs in Spain. The clubs offer a wide variety of different fitness facilities, including gyms, swimming pools and courts for racquet sports. In addition they offer a choice of bar food and drinks, spa treatments and live sporting coverage.

On 26 April 2011, after two years of ownership, Société Générale confirmed that it had agreed to sell its Esporta health, fitness and racquets clubs to Virgin Active for £77.5m.[1]

History[edit]

After expanding quickly, in 2004 Esporta announced their six Spanish clubs were up for sale. Selling all six in 2005, they sold seven UK locations to Virgin Active: Birmingham, Bolton, Crawley, Chelmsford, Gloucester, Medway, and Rugby. Esporta explained they wanted to concentrate efforts on the premium market in the UK.[2]

Facilities[edit]

Membership of the club allows members to use most other Esporta clubs for free. The exceptions to this include clubs such as Repton Park, Swiss Cottage, Northwood Riverside, Chiswick Riverside (which has a £1000 Joining fee) these are considered 'Premium' clubs, which are not included in your membership elsewhere.

During 2009 Esporta changed this policy, adding a small one off initial fee to use 'non-home' clubs.

Some clubs will offer this policy but some will offer free 'UK Wide' usage for no extra fee. Policy will depend on time of the month and current promotions.

Club locations[edit]

The Esporta brand operates 55 premium clubs across the United Kingdom, with the Gloucester Health and Racquets Club and Chiswick Riverside Health and Racquets Club the most recent additions. There are nine clubs spread across the North of England.[3] In the Midlands and East Anglia there are a total of nine clubs[4] There are 18 clubs in London and South East England[5] while there are a further six in South England.[6] In Scotland there are two clubs, in Hamilton (Lanarkshire) and Milngavie.[7] In Wales there are four clubs, while there are six in the West of England.[8] There is only one club in Northern Ireland, situated at Holywood in Belfast.[9]

Controversy[edit]

The company is renowned for its stringent 12 month contracts and 3 month cancellation periods, which have led to complaints from both the BBC's Watchdog and other national media sources including the Office of Fair Trading. [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Virgin Active agrees to buy Esporta gyms". BBC News. 26 April 2011. 
  2. ^ FitCommerce.com. "Virgin Active Acquires 13 Health clubs From Esporta." 8 August 2005.[1]
  3. ^ "Find Your Club: North". Esporta. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "Find Your Club: Midlands & East Anglia". Esporta. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  5. ^ "Find Your Club: London & The South East". Esporta. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "Find Your Club: South". Esporta. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "Find Your Club: Scotland". Esporta. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Find Your Club: Wales". Esporta. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Find Your Club: Northern Ireland". Esporta. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  10. ^ Monk, Ed. ThisIsMoney.co.uk. "Join the Gym and Lose £££s." 9 January 2009. [2]

External links[edit]