Work in a Leisure Centre
- Explore the work tasks involved in the day to day operation of a leisure centre, recreation hall or gym
- Professional development for leisure centre staff, fitness or recreation professionals or related career paths
- Course duration: 100 hours of self paced study.
- Explain the scope of work involved in the management of recreation and fitness facilities.
- Explain the nature of recreation and fitness facilities, including their physical characteristics and their management requirements.
- Explain the legal aspects which must be satisfied by construction work projects.
- Plan the management of construction work projects for different recreation facilities.
- Explain the suitability and management of equipment for a given purposes in indoor recreation or fitness facilities (Part A - Indoor Equipment).
- Explain the suitability and management of equipment for given purposes in outdoor recreation or fitness facilities (Part B - Outdoor Equipment).
- Develop safety procedures for a recreation facility.
- Determine equipment needed for a sports or fitness facility.
- Purchase new equipment for a recreation or fitness facility.
- Manage the bookings for use of a recreation facility.
- Develop contingency plans to deal with likely emergencies in recreation and fitness industry workplaces.
- Manage insurance issues for a recreation or fitness facility.
- Develop a plan for managing the use of a specific recreation facility
COURSE STRUCTURE & CONTENT
Part 1: A comprehensive introductory course focusing on the management and development or redevelopment of recreation facilities. Subjects cover the nature of recreation and fitness facilities, legal requirements during construction, the management of minor construction projects and evaluating fitness and recreation equipment.
Part 2: This course develops skills to manage day to day operations of facilities such as gyms, health clubs, swimming pools, or recreation facilities. The course deals with managing bookings, purchasing, safety, contingencies and insurance.
There are 13 lessons in this course:
1. The Scope of Recreation Facility Management
- Scope of Community Recreation Services
- Exercise Facilities
- Town Planning
- Structural Planning
- Systems Planning
- Advocacy Planning
- Central Place Theory
- Scope and Distribution of Leisure Facilities
2. The Nature of Recreation Facility Management
- Multidisciplinary Approach to Management
- The Administrative Process
- Planning for Play
- Planning Processes
3. Legal Requirements for Construction
- Special Events
- Liability and Negligence
- Minimising Liability
- Risk Management
4. Planning Construction Work
- Work Scheduling
- Planning Management of the Construction
- Competitive Tendering
- Contingency Plans for Disruption to Work
5. Indoor Equipment
- Types of Recreation Buildings
- Indoor Equipment and Facilities
- General Requirements; access, security, lighting, toilets, parking, signage, staff facilities, etc
- Needs for Specific Facility Types; swimming centres, community centres, gymnasium, etc
- Selection Criteria for Equipment
- Conducting a Cost Analysis
6. Outdoor Equipment
- All Purpose Sports Ground
- Tennis Courts
- Bowling Club
- Camp and Caravan Sites
- Water Recreation; sailing, water skiing, power boating, canoeing, etc
- Picnic Areas
- Riding School, etc
7. Safety Procedures
- Duty of Care; employer, employee, other person, manufacturer.
- Lifting and Manual Handling
- Protective Equipment
- Chemical Handling
- Protecting Hearing
- Safety Risk Analysis
- Safety Audit
- Safe Communication
- Safety Out Doors
- Water Safety: safety in pools
- First Aid
- Safety on Sports Turf
8. Equipment Needs
- Gym Equipment
- Types of Equipment
- Sports Equipment
- Track and Athletics Equipment
- Determining Equipment Needs for different sports
- Scouts, Youth Clubs, Other Clubs, Play groups, etc
- Introduction to Purchasing Procedures
- Purchasing and Payment Procedures
- Controlling Facility Use
- Exclusive Bookings
- Using Facilities without Prior Bookings
- Keeping Records of Bookings
- Procedure for Filing
- Active and Inactive Records
- Introduction to Contingency Procedures
- Staff Absence
- Fire Management
- Indoor and Outdoor Facilities
12. Insurance Issues
- Types of Insurance
- Staff Liability
- Determining Insurance Requirements for a Facility
- Insurance Limitations
- Changing Insurance Needs
- Managing Insurance
- Insurance for Contributory Negligence
- Recreation Leaders
- Quality Systems
13. Managing a Recreation Facility
- Building Maintenance
- Controlling Facility Use
- Keeping Records
- Promoting a Facility
- Managing Aquatic Facilities
- Toilet and Locker room Facilities
- Security; security systems, vandalism, ignorant acts, vindictive acts
- Minimising Vandalism
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
EXAMPLES OF TASKS IN THIS COURSE
- Explain the nature of recreation and fitness facilities.
- Research and explain legal aspects which must be satisfied by construction work projects.
- Assess the suitability of equipment for a given purpose in a recreation or fitness facility.
- Conduct research to find out what recreation facilities services are provided in your locality, and by whom.
- Compare three different facilities in your locality that provide the same type of recreation and fitness services.
- Describe the minimum facilities required to provide common services in different types of recreation facilities, including: health clubs, gymnasiums, recreation centres, swimming pools, golf clubs, bowling clubs, sporting clubs, sports grounds.
Managing Indoor Areas Used for Sport and Exercise
The following characteristics can affect the comfort and fitness benefit derived from exercising indoors.
Aerobics class are best on a sprung floor to absorb impact. A hard floor will soon cause injuries to the instructor and participants (e.g. a concrete slab floor, even covered with carpet, will always be harder than a timber floor supported by stumps and joists).
The floor surface should be smooth and level with no uneven boards, cracks, or splinters - and it should not be too slippery. Ideally, a non-slip coating should be applied, and this should be checked regularly to see whether the floor needs recoating. Floor coatings are commonly used, but be careful to avoid those that might be abrasive, cause itchiness, or friction burns (e.g. some carpet materials).
If the floor is carpeted, an underlay should be used which is appropriate for exercising on. Note: Some underlay materials are both thicker and denser, being designed to take the heavy wear that they will get from exercise.
Height of the Room
This should be sufficient enough so that no-one will hit their arms on the roof when jumping, and no-one will hit anything which is hanging from overhead (e.g. light fittings) when exercising.
These can be fixed to the walls to allow participants to observe their form and technique. It also increases safety by allowing participants to be aware of others close-by, and so decreases the chance of collision during exercise.
This should be provided to allow for good visibility of all parts of the room, but it shouldn't be so bright that it causes discomfort.
Air Temperature & Quality
In summer, air conditioning may be necessary to reduce the likelihood of heat exhaustion. If suitable cooling is not available, good ventilation via open doorways or windows may be suitable, although this can allow noise and visual distractions from outside to impact on the class. If open doors or windows are used, then suitable flyscreens are recommended to minimise problems from annoying insects entering the room (e.g. flies, mosquitoes).
Air-conditioners should be regularly serviced to reduce the likelihood of pathogens (e.g. respiratory diseases) breeding there.
Fresh air can also be important, particularly in small rooms or crowded places. If a large group exercises vigorously together in a relatively small air-conditioned room, oxygen levels in the air can drop and this may affect people's performance and comfort.
Entries and Exits
In commercial situations, these should ideally be separate and readily accessible. It can be very annoying (and potentially unsafe) if participants from a class that has just finished are trying to get out, and those who are going to do the next class are trying to get in. If there was a fire, or some other emergency, then two or more access points would be very important.
Avoid placing any extraneous items (e.g. pot plants, seating) that are not needed for the exercise program in the exercise zone. The less items there are in the room/hall, then the less things there are to trip over or bump into, and the fewer things that require maintenance.
In commercial situations, acoustics should be good so that people can clearly and easily hear each other, an instructor, music or a television where relevant. If possible, avoid large empty buildings which echo.
A microphone and good stereo system with speakers will often be necessary, particularly for large classes especially if the instructor doesn't have a loud voice, if the music is too loud, or if there is a lot of noise from outside the class. Ideally, microphones should be used wherever possible and fixed to the instructors clothing or on a headpiece so that they can keep their hands free while instructing the class. If the clients find it hard to hear the instructor, they will not be moving in the same direction as everyone else which can cause accidents and possibly injuries. If the music is too soft, loud or distorted it can become demotivating or distracting for all involved.
Steps and Other Equipment
These need to be clean and in good condition. If equipment becomes loose, tattered or slippery, or it starts to fall apart - there is more risk of injury.
If a raised level is used by the instructor, then participants can see better which reduces the likelihood of confusion about exercises being carried out. A stage however, can also create problems for the instructor due to the risk of falling off. It should be of a suitable size for the activities being performed, and should be positioned so that all of the class can clearly see it, and so that it doesn't create an obstacle when the class members are actively moving.
Mats and Suitable Padding
These are often used for floor exercises increasing comfort and safety, and decreasing back problems. They can be provided by the gym management centre or sometimes by the class participants themselves.
Secure lockers are ideal where feasible but if they are not available then a suitable area or perhaps shelves can be provided for class participants to place their bags, towels, jackets, shoes, etc so that they won't pose a hazard (i.e. get tripped over) and can be seen clearly by the class participants (to minimise thefts). There should also be a suitable, safe, secure place nearby to store any equipment (e.g. mats, steps) that are regularly used in the aerobics classes.
So ... Why take this course?
- An excellent introductory course to the management of leisure facilities
- Learn about the day to day management of leisure and recreational facilities
- Develop the skills to plan and develop leisure and recreation facilities
- An ideal course for the professional development of leisure and recreation facility staff
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