classfinder is the largest directory of group exercise classes in the UK, aimed at getting people active by finding classes local to them. Users simply use their post code to find activities and contact the instructor. Currently with over 2 million page views, and national campaigns such as #ThisGirlCan and Moving Medicine signposting people to classfinder, it has rapidly established itself as the definitive search engine.
Extensive development work funded by Sport England has taken place to grow the platform and make it open data enabled. Working with the Open Data Institute (ODI) and imin, EMD UK has standardised all class data going into the platform to ensure users are given a consistent search experience.
Due to the open data ability, the platform is a powerful promotional tool for instructors, leisure operators and other physical activity organisations, such as Active Partnerships. These organisations can either upload their class timetables to classfinder and opt-in to be shown in other searches, or they can open their class data via the ODI to automatically be seen in active searches. With classfinder fast becoming the go-to site for people wanting to attend group exercise classes, leisure operators such as GLL have already signed up. As more organisations open their data, the number of classes on the platform will increase.
Shelley Meyern, Head of Business Development for EMD UK, said “classfinder revolutionises the way people search for group exercise classes. No longer do you have to visit two, three, four different websites before finding the class you want – an extensive list of local classes can be displayed to the user in one place. This is a great tool to reach those who don’t know where to start with exercise, whether they are complete beginners or looking for a new challenge.”
The classfinder platform contains seven key group exercise discipline filters, such as cardio, strength and conditioning or dance fitness. EMD UK also identified that some class-goers, such as those with dementia, pre/post-natal care, and osteoporosis, require instructors to have specialist knowledge. The platform has been built with those users in mind, with 18 special requirement filters in place to offer participants the best possible class experience. This makes it an excellent resource for charities such as Alzheimer’s Society, the Royal Osteoporosis Society and Cancer Research UK to direct their service users to when discussing physical activity.
Sport England’s Izy Champion supports this “It’s fantastic to see that EMD UK, as the national governing body for group exercise, has developed classfinder to make it much easier for people to find exercise classes near them. Using open data published through the OpenActive initiative means that consumers will have access to over 40,000 exercise classes across the UK at their fingertips, taking the sector a step closer to making it as easy to book your exercise class as it is to order a take away.”
As part of the drive to encourage participants to join in group exercise classes, EMD UK has the backing of the wider industry who have provided incentives to encourage people to join in. Everyone Active, MoveGB and our Member brands Broga, Clubbercise, Medau Movement, Slingfit Mama, Swing Train, Twerkfit, Flowetic, KpopX, Drum n Bounce, Boogie Bounce, DDMIX and Beatz are all giving away thousands of free activities across the country.
Every single entrant will win at least two prizes allowing them to choose free group exercise classes which will hopefully encourage them to become more active on a regular basis.