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Planet Fitness Opens Gym Within Boys and Girls Club of Manchester

Boys and Girls Club

Last week, Planet Fitness unveiled the first fitness center inside the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester, New Hampshire, as part of their Judgement Free Generation initiative. The fitness center was a complete surprise to the kids, who had expressed a desire for a place to exercise and get healthy.

“In the Manchester club … they told us that they had a desire from the kids to be healthy and active,” said McCall Gosselin, the vice president of public relations and communications at Planet Fitness. “In Manchester in particular, 70 percent of the kids in the club are on state assistance, so they are living at or below the poverty level. They don’t have access to fitness equipment and they really wanted those amenities, so they could teach kids about living a healthier lifestyle.”

Planet Fitness worked with staff and vendors to create a mini Planet Fitness gym inside the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester. The new fitness center will provide nearly 1,700 kids and teens the ability to workout in a judgement free environment. “For us it was a great combination of being able to teach them through the Boys and Girls Club, the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, not just working out, but emotionally by being kind to one another and respecting one another,” said Gosselin.

Last March, Planet Fitness launched its first-ever brand philanthropic initiative, the Judgement Free Generation, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America and STOMP Out Bullying. “We are really trying to take our judgement free philosophy of making people feel like they are accepted outside the four walls of our clubs and into our communities, specifically impacting teens around anti-bullying,” explained Gosselin. “STOMP Out Bullying is our partner in the space because they are the leader in bullying prevention. We wanted to partner with the Boys and Girls Club because they have access to teens throughout the country with over 4,000 clubs and they have clubs in our communities.”

The fitness center within the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester is just the first of many. According to Gosselin the Judgement Free Generation initiative is going to be an ongoing campaign that the brand will focus on from here on out. They hope to open more fitness centers through this year, next year and beyond.

“We felt like this unique three-way partnership would be a really powerful thing to bring to life,” added Gosselin. “It is really the first time that there has been a huge concerted effort to impact bullying in the after-school setting.”

Emily Harbourne

Emily Harbourne is the assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine.

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