Girl Power!

Leighton Park School and Queen Anne’s School are encouraging girls to develop lifelong fitness habits with new equipment from Matrix.

The sites have both been refurbished to include Matrix Fitness kit and designed to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment without compromising on the standard of equipment.

Leighton Park in Reading is a co-educational day and boarding school for 11- to 18-year-olds that recently invested in its sports facilities by creating a new fitness centre. Healthy eating, fitness and exercise are important aspects of overall student wellbeing and support academic studies and achievement.

The fitness centre is used to support sport studies, but can also be used by students as part of their extra-curricular activities or their own fitness programmes. New equipment was installed to encourage female students to participate in physical exercise, with Matrix treadmills, rowers, bikes and elliptical machines all on offer.

Jeremy Belas, director of sport and senior enrichment co-ordinator at Leighton Park, says: “Traditionally, the school has always provided weight training, but this held very limited appeal to the girls in the school. Nigel Williams, our head, specifically wanted to create a facility that would encourage the girls to come into the gym and try something different.”

“Our Matrix-installed Fitness and Cardio Centre has certainly achieved this, with more girls at the school choosing fitness-based activities as part of their games afternoons and extra-curricular activities, and working out using the high-end functional equipment.”

Also encouraging young women to participate in exercise is Queen Anne’s School in Caversham, an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11–18 years. The school occupies a 35-acre campus and benefits from a new 140sq m gym, with the original gym having been converted into a dance/aerobic studio.

The school boasts a fully-equipped sports centre including a new fitness suite, two dance studios, a squash court, four badminton courts and a climbing wall together with a large multi-purpose room for Zumba and yoga.

The new fitness suite features 35 pieces of Matrix equipment including a range of cardiovascular machines with individual consoles, indoor spinning bikes and Aura strength equipment including a Multi-Functional Trainer.

Ed Hellings, director of finance and administration at Queen Anne’s School, says: “As a leading independent girls’ school, we needed a gym that not only promotes health and wellbeing to our girls, but also reflects the standard expected by the girls themselves and their parents.”