As the fitness industry looks to the future, GoodLife Fitness founder and CEO David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans, believes gyms are vital to recovering our health and economic prosperity.
Giving people the opportunity to lead a healthy, active lifestyle has been Patch’s philosophy since he opened his first gym in London, Ontario 42 years ago. Patch was one of four Canadian business leaders inducted into Junior Achievement Canada’s Canadian Business Hall of Fame on May 27, joining more than 200 well-known business leaders who have changed the lives of people living in Canada for the better.
Patch is the first fitness club owner in Canada to receive this honour, and was selected based on a long track record of success and leadership in the fitness industry. He operates GoodLife clubs in every province, as well as low-cost Fit4Less clubs across Canada. He is a past chair of IHRSA, an investor in Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, and a recipient of the Canadian Medical Medal of Honour.
He is also committed to doing social good and elevating the value and understanding of the fitness sector. Both the GoodLife Kids Foundation and Patch’s most recent initiative – Change for Good Health – work to break down barriers to participation and provide physical activity for vulnerable and marginalized populations across Canada. As a company, GoodLife Fitness has contributed of $40 million to charitable foundations.
Patch used his acceptance speech to share his lifelong purpose – giving Canadians opportunities to live healthy active lives through fitness. This purpose rings true especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has made it clear how important taking control of your health should be. Fitness is the key to getting back to better physical and mental health coming out of this. Gyms offer a social connection, and a third space along with home and work, that people are going to need as they re-enter society after months and months of isolation.”
Studies show the collective health of the population has diminished considerably since the pandemic started. Health implications from pandemic include increased rates of obesity, substance abuse and inactivity, as well as higher levels of anxiety and depression. These trends threaten to overburden healthcare systems for years to come.
“Conditions have been incredibly challenging when it comes to staying active and taking care of your health. Stay at home orders and other pandemic safety protocols have restricted our movement and presented barriers for many people who want to exercise, but just can’t. Our health is suffering as a result,” Patchell-Evans said.
Studies show investments in recreation and fitness can produce up to four times the financial return for an economy, mostly by reducing strain on healthcare systems. As economies around the world struggle to rebound from the pandemic, Patch continued to reinforce that taking care of our health makes economic sense.
“The fitness industry employs hundreds of thousands of skilled professionals who are dedicated to supporting people in their health. I want the recognition I’m receiving to go to the thousands of associates in my clubs. I couldn’t get here alone, and they’ve all played a critical helping GoodLife contribute to a healthier, happier, more productive population.”
To learn more about JA Canada’s Canadian Business Hall of Fame, please visit: www.cbhf2021.ca