Business Franchise Australia


Building active communities: Belgravia’s roadmap for growth

Belgravia Health and Fitness is a franchise company with over 20 years’ experience in creating active, healthy communities. Its portfolio includes Genesis Health + Fitness gyms, Ninja Parc indoor obstacle courses and JUMP! Swim Schools. It encompasses more than 100 franchise locations across the country.


It also forms part of the Belgravia Group: the largest privately owned leisure business in Australia that includes health, leisure, tourism, property, finance and technology companies with more than 200 locations and 7,000 employees Australia-wide.


The last financial year has seen strong growth for Belgravia Health and Fitness – this mature brand has grown its network by 25% in a single year -– as the brands explore new market opportunities geographically and demographically and introduce new product offerings to meet consumer demands.


Genesis Health + Fitness, which offers some of the largest territories of any gym franchise in the country, is finding its niche in club sizes, customisation and premium offerings to bring the best to market for the communities franchisees are based in, according to Belgravia Health and Fitness General Manager of Sales, Magdalena Schoeman.


“We have really found the sweet spot in terms of the floor size of our sites, giving consumers the premium range of options they want and allowing franchisees to feel comfortable with the investment level, confident in the business opportunity while also being able to customise the space so it can represent the gym they dream of owning. We’re definitely not a cookie-cutter gym.


“We’re responding to consumer trends with the introduction of wellness-focused products like Reformer Pilates and further development of our small group personal training offering, Coaching Zone. This is where growth opportunities lay at the moment – offering consumers the complete fitness package under one roof with access to different zones at one affordable membership price.”



The Ninja Parc franchise, which has new sites scheduled to open at Fyshwick (ACT) and Torquay (VIC), is also expanding its product offerings by introducing innovative features including a dedicated zone for children under seven called The Playground, and an arcade-style zone, Ninja Parc’ade. These additions complement the existing obstacle course and onsite café, creating a family-friendly environment that offers convenience and affordability.


Meanwhile, the JUMP! Swim School network, which is teaching lifesaving swim skills to children in intimate class environments, is chasing key population growth corridors across each state. The network’s swim enrolments have grown 41% since Belgravia took over in 2019 and the network is expanding quickly due to its affordability for franchisees and rate of financial success.


“We now have over 34,000 kids learning to swim across out network of more than 60 sites and the highest Net Promoter Scores in the industry,” said Magdalena.


“The demand for swim school placements across Australia continues to grow with waitlists at most sites – it’s an essential skill that Australian children need to learn. In fact, many of our franchisees are parents who have struggled to get their own children into lessons. 


Kit Haselden Photography


“More than 80% of the sites that opened in the last financial year were booked to capacity before they even opened their doors.


“Because of the boutique nature of our pools, we don’t need to find huge sites to open a swim school so we can secure central locations that are super convenient for parents and bring them to market very swiftly and affordably for the franchisee. This means we are typically able to be first to market in new suburbs and are able to service areas where councils are not yet able to.”


JUMP! Swim Schools also identified additional revenue opportunities in the adult learn to swim market, launching adult swim classes during FY24.


“Adult drowning statistics in Australia are far too high and we identified that we could assist this issue, particularly given many adults may not be comfortable learning to swim in a large, busy pool environment. We had the boutique pools and the expert swim teachers, so it made sense to expand the program.” 


Much like lessons for children, the program aims to introduce adults to the water in a safe and gradual way with small class sizes. 


“We adapted our industry-leading program to cater specifically for adults. 



“It enables our franchisees to use their pool facilities at other times of the day and really get the most out of their site. Many of our adult students already have children in learn-to-swim programs at their local JUMP! Swim School, so by marketing to the existing member base we are able to attract additional customers.”


Overall, Magdalena says that the franchise market is in the strongest position it has been in Australia for more than a decade.


“Post-covid, people are continuing to evaluate their priorities; how they want to spend their time and how they want to work. They are looking for a change from the daily office grind, looking for a job with purpose, to be more family focused or wanting to finally pursue their passions in a way that’s safe and supported.



“We have franchisees joining us from all walks of life, from first-time business owners to seasoned business owners looking for new investment opportunities.


“We will continue to distinguish ourselves by our level of support for our franchisees across all areas of the business – from accounting and marketing to tech and payroll, our franchisees are not alone. And we don’t just provide ‘how-to’ guides – its real, human support every step of the way.”