The Little Gym embarks on aggressive UK expansion
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The Little Gym embarks on aggressive UK expansion

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Children’s health club franchise The Little Gym is growing its portfolio of UK operations, with plans for 69 sites within the next five years - up from its current 10.

The brand, which was established in 1976 by Robin Wes, has more than 300 clubs in 32 countries, with UK facilities in Chiswick, Westfield White City, Camberley, Cambridge, Harrogate, Leeds, Wandsworth, Harpenden, Hampton Hill and Godalming.

In total, the brand will have 12 gyms in the UK by the end of the year. A further 14 clubs, which include Beaconsfield, Brighton, Edgware, Hampstead, Leamington, Manchester, Wimbledon, Windsor, Wokingham and York, will open in 2018.

The Little Gym is in talks with potential franchisees relating to 13 other clubs. A further 30 sites are also planned, for which no franchisee candidates have been identified yet.

Gymnastic coaches Matina Macintyre and Andrea Page are the owners and teachers at The Little Gym Windsor, which will open in November.

The 450sq m (4,844sq ft) club will offer 26 gymnastics classes a week catering for children from 10 months to 12 years of age. It plans to offer dance, martial-arts and multi-sports programmes in the future depending on demand. Classes will be capped at approximately 18 students.

Its parent-child programme (10-36 month olds) is designed to stimulate early years development – both body, brain, and social and emotional skills. The pre-school programme (3-4 year olds) strengthens their bodies, builds coordination, and develops balance as girls and boys roll, cartwheel, swing and tumble in the gym. Finally, in the primary school programme, children from the age of 6-12 attend gymnastics classes.

“In today’s society, it is an unfortunate reality that many children don’t get the amount of physical activity needed to optimise the development of their bodies and their brains,” said Macintyre. “Research recommends that children should experience between three and five hours of movement every day.

“It's our mission at The Little Gym Windsor to help children learn to love movement by making it great fun. Establishing a love of movement in children’s early years helps to create healthy habits that can last a lifetime.”

Membership at The Little Gym Windsor operates over two semesters, or approximately 42 weeks, of classes, every year.

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Children’s health club franchise The Little Gym is growing its portfolio of UK operations, with plans for 69 sites within the next five years.