CEO Marcus Kingwell joined more than 600 leaders from the health, fitness, sport, leisure, business, retail and construction sectors.

Marcus Kingwell attended ukactive’s National Summit in London recently.  As the largest fitness industry event of its type in the UK, it was attended by more than 600 leaders and policy makers from across the health, fitness, sport, leisure, business, retail and construction sectors.

A number of eminent fitness, sport and health experts spoke at the event.  Delegates were welcomed by Lord Andrew Lansley, former Secretary of State for Health, who then invited former Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Chair, ukactive, to speak.  She highlighted the ‘opportunity for physical activity to play a greater role in reshaping modern Britain, including a call for government to make a crucial change to business regulations that would allow more gyms and leisure operators to open on the high street and in town developments.’ You can read Baroness Grey-Thompson’s letter to the main political parties here.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill DBE and Professor Greg Whyte OBE gave an inspiring presentation on ‘How activity changed my life’ followed by Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners who introduced ‘Primary healthcare now and for the future: Prevention and Physical Activity’.

The event also saw the introduction of the new National Academy for Social Prescribing.  Led by Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, the academy aims to help patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by accessing community services including physical activities such as sport and group exercise.

Marcus said ‘The ukactive annual National Summit is a fantastic opportunity for industry leaders to ask the big questions and, more importantly, action them. As the national governing body for group exercise, we know the positive impacts that physical activity has on the nation, with one million more people taking up group exercise since 2016.

It was great to hear Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, comment on the impact of data and technology on Sport England’s support for open data which matches our own ambitions to make physical activity more accessible. The launch of our classfinder search engine, powered by open data, in September has made it easier for people to find group exercise opportunities near them. The added filters also make it a great signposting tool for campaigns such as #ThisGirlCan and #WeAreUndefeatable.

Social prescribing continues to be high on the sector agenda with the aim of improving the quality of life for all.  We believe group exercise is part of the solution and we look forward to working with the National Academy for Social Prescribing to deliver a healthier nation through exercise’.