For Facility Managers Spinning

Do you look like me? SHOULD you look like me to start?

I work a full time job where often inclusion and diversity is discussed.  And, with the developmental age of students I work with, inclusion to them is sometimes seen (correctly or not) as those in their community who look like them. Regardless of whether or not I might actually identify like them (I am Asian American, by the way), there is an assumption of inclusivity if there is a presence of those who look alike.

Anyhow, I was thinking about something that was pointed out to me a while ago when I was teaching fitness classes—that it seemed more Asian American students would attend my fitness classes relative to other classes. It wasn’t that I only had Asian American students, but rather, that it seemed more would show up at my classes. This made some sort of sense to me when I thought about the developmental age of the students, but it’s not as if I would do anything different in my fitness classes depending on race/ethnicity J

However, it’s made me think more on how to encourage groups who have historically and statistically been shown to be less physically active than others to join fitness facilities and such.  I completely agree with this fact: that most often, people return to a class based on their like for an instructor’s style, personality, motivators--je ne sais quoi!  But, perhaps entrance into a facility – if one is in a minority group—can also be influenced by those who step up on stage and lead the class initially.  I’m largely viewing this from a psychological, academic perspective, but have been ruminating on it and wondering what business component might be tapped into by having a diverse group of instructors.  I think it’s already a great thing when clubs demonstrate fitness can be all shapes and sizes, but also colors? 

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