Planet Fitness Launches Anti-bullying Campaign
Planet Fitness partners with STOMP Out Bullying and Boys and Girls Club of America in anti-bullying campaign.
Bullying has become a serious issue in schools across the United States. In a class of 20 kids in the U.S., an average of at least four have experienced psychological or physical abuse by a peer. To help combat this issue, Planet Fitness is partnering with STOMP Out Bullying, the country’s leading anti-bullying organization, and Boys and Girls Club of America.
Together, the three organizations will launch the Judgement Free Generation, which will build off of Planet Fitness’ Judgement Free Zone philosophy. “In the fitness industry we are known for the Judgement Free Zone and that is really core to our brand, so we have been working internally to develop a cause platform that will be the brand’s legacy moving forward,” said McCall Gosselin, the vice president of PR and communications at Planet Fitness. “At Planet Fitness we have seen how people really flourish when they feel accepted and like they belong. We felt this was a natural extension of who we are and the Judgement Free Zone mentality.”
The goal of the anti-bullying initiative is to make an impact on both a national and local level, so both STOMP Out Bullying and BGCA were the perfect partners. “STOMP Out Bullying is the leading national organization focused on anti-bullying for kids,” said Gosselin. “Because we are a franchise system, it was also important for us to not only have a partner at the national level, but one that had local legs so our franchisees could get involved.”
Through the partnership, Planet Fitness hopes to make changes to programming on the national level, as well as connecting franchisees with local Boys and Girls Clubs in their communities. In collaboration with its franchisees, Planet Fitness is committing $1.3 million over the next two years to support the anti-bullying program.
“We are sponsoring staff trainings for Boys and Girls Club staff members through a partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence that will focus on social and emotional learning to really train staff in the clubs how to deal with anti-bullying issues and preach kindness,” explained Gosselin. “We are also going to be providing grants to clubs throughout the country to really encourage them to have a judgement free environment.”
According to Gosselin, there are a number of programs in development and the initiative will only continue to grow, with the ultimate goal of creating the next judgement free generation of teens. “We really want to take that judgement free philosophy and extend that from our clubs into our communities,” added Gosselin. “We really want to focus our efforts on encouraging teens to be kind and not bully each other, so everyone feels like they belong. There are over 4,000 Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country, so we really feel like we can truly impact millions of teens throughout this partnership.”