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Oulu, Finland. Global fitness industry analyst Ray Algar announces that he has accepted a non-executive strategic advisory role with Liikku, a leading operator of premium low-cost gyms in Finland. ‘Liikku’, which broadly translates to mobility in English, was founded by Johanna and Heikki Riihijärvi in 2010 with the mission of encouraging more people to experience the joy and rewards of an active life.
The Finnish people are an active nation relative to the rest of Europe with seven out of ten reporting playing a sport or exercising with some or greater regularity according to the European Commission’s latest Eurobarometer report. Outdoor exercise is the country’s most popular physical activity setting but snow, periods of continuous darkness and temperatures dropping to -30 °c means that welcoming and affordable indoor options are also extremely popular. Although levels of gym membership are high in Finland, the quality is mixed along with complex terms and conditions. Liikku is changing this by championing what the Finnish people call ‘reilu’ which means to be more transparent and fair.
Commenting on Algar’s appointment, Johanna Riihijärvi, the Liikku CEO says: ‘I have followed Ray’s industry research for many years. In fact, I was inspired to create Liikku after I read his UK low-cost gym sector report. It opened my eyes to the possibility that Finland could be ready for a simpler and more affordable year-round fitness experience. It is a tremendous asset for Liikku to be able to tap into Ray’s experience and insights.’
‘The core motivation for publishing fitness industry research is that I want to make a significant contribution to the global physical activity agenda. So, it is very exciting for me to see how my work is being applied and influencing the health and fitness of a growing number of Finnish people’ says Algar.
Liikku has recently become part of Cor Group Oy which is one of Finland’s largest healthcare companies. This alliance is bringing a new mix of resources to Liikku which is enabling the business to nationally scale its premium low-cost offering and amplify its social impact.
About Ray Algar and Oxygen Consulting
Ray Algar, is managing director of Oxygen Consulting, a Brighton, UK, based company that provides compelling strategic business insight for organisations connected to the global health and fitness industry. He is the author of 12 influential fitness industry reports and books that attract a global readership.
In 2013, Ray launched Gymtopia (www.Gymtopia.org), an award-winning digital platform that curates the global health and fitness industry’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects.
Johanna and Heikki Riihijärvi opened their first Liikku club in the city of Oulu in 2010. Liikku describes itself as a premium low-cost gym brand. A core part of Liikku’s manifesto is that it believes in fairness (reilu), honesty and respect – that you deliver what you promise. Liikku has 18 clubs open at September 2018. In 2016 the Cor Group Oy, a healthcare and wellbeing business, became a strategic investor in Liikku.