A group of Manchester entrepreneurs are using tech to make fitness more accessible than ever.
Supported as part of the OpenActive Accelerator, the Sport England/Open Data Institute-backed programme aims to get people active and healthy.
Manchester-based start-up GoSweat is creating innovative new digital products and services to make it easier to discover and book sports and fitness activities in the local area.
GoSweat is a two-sided marketplace that connects the supply with the demand for fitness classes.
Founded by Manchester entrepreneurs Stephanie Newport Booth, Alex Hind and Kent McClymont, the OpenActive Accelerator programme is providing the young founders with business support and mentoring as they scale.
Newport Booth and Hind were both working in Manchester when they set up GoSweat after becoming frustrated at how hard it was to easily find out about local fitness classes in the Manchester area.
It was then developed as an easy-to-use, one-stop-shop for booking a range of local activity classes.
“Being on the OpenActive accelerator has really helped us to develop and grow the business,” said Newport Booth.
“It has been fantastic to take advantage of the data being made available by leisure operators and sports membership organisations as part of the OpenActive initiative because the sports sessions on offer help to make our product more comprehensive.
“It is my aim to make the business a global one and we are developing and refining the platform we have created all the time to make it even easier for people to find the exercise class they are looking for locally.”
With Sport England’s Active Lives Survey showing that over a quarter of the population do less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, part of the aim of OpenActive is to make finding activities easier and to help people fit physical activity into their busy lives.
Hazel Musgrove is a regional champion for OpenActive and part of the Greater Manchester’s County Sports Partnership.
She said: “As a Regional Champion I work with local sports organisations and sports providers within the Greater Manchester area to encourage them to share information about the sports and fitness sessions that they run.
“The idea is that this information can then be shared across a variety of different platforms and websites including platforms like GoSweat.
“It is my role to make sure that leisure operators and sports clubs across the Greater Manchester area understand the potential of OpenActive and the way it aims to open up sport and activity for a whole new audience of people who struggle at the moment to access activities that they are interested in.”
The OpenActive Accelerator programme is part of OpenActive, an initiative funded by the National Lottery via Sport England.
OpenActive is delivered by the Open Data Institute, who work in partnership with Sport England and other sector partners including ukactive and London Sport.
As part of the OpenActive Accelerator programme, ten start-ups are being mentored and supported to create new products and services that make it easier for people to get active.