Gym members need more flexibility to be able to exercise at their convenience
- By Mandy Dekkers, Bas Stoffelen
- December 01, 2021
Thorbecke College in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, offers excellent facilities for students studying sports qualifications. Their on-site gym, Stoker Fitness opened at the college 17 years ago, following the opening of several other small gyms in the Rotterdam city center.
Prior to the Paxton10 installation, Stoker Fitness members could only use the facilities during regular opening hours, when the building’s supervisors were present. The gym industry is changing, and according to Willem-Jan, the current trend is for members to have flexibility and more time to exercise at their own convenience. This means that gyms may be open 24/7, and they need to have a security system, which monitors and secures the facility and equipment without the gym’s employees present.
To update their security system, Stoker Fitness contracted Ricor Security. The company stands for quality and excellent service, with a forward-thinking approach to technical development.
Supervising the gym outside of regular opening hours when there are no employees scheduled to work was the biggest challenge according to Willem-Jan Stoker. He said, “In order to open up your business to members without being physically present requires safeguards in place.”
The primary requirement was to give members access via their smartphone. At the time, this solution was not available in the market, Willem-Jan said. “With the help of Ricor Security, we have been looking for a solution that will allow members of Stoker Fitness to access the gym easily, without the need for our staff to be present.”
Features and Functionality
When Paxton10 launched in The Netherlands in July 2020, Ricor Security saw an opportunity to deliver the features and functionality for Stoker Fitness’ requirements, providing next generation access control and video management in one simple system, providing a platform that is easy to manage and extremely user friendly, with no key fobs or traditional keys needed. Offering access via smart devices and the ability to monitor sites remotely, the combined system’s modern simple software was the ideal choice.
“We were able to provide simple access control in combination with mobile access via the Paxton Key app. It was simple and easy to achieve with this new system,” said Lorenzo van Emmerik, video systems expert at Ricor Security.
Using the app, available for iOS and Android, members of Stoker Fitness can open the controlled entrances to the gym with their smartphone or smartwatch. Created in seconds, the smart credentials use the web-based Paxton10 software and remotely issued to a new user via an email sent directly from the system.
Additionally, the gym members arm and disarm the burglar alarm system upon entry and exit, ensuring a secure site when vacant, but minimizing any risk of false alarms when the gym is in use. The Alarm Connector can achieve this, and the Trigger & Actions feature will automatically switch the alarm on or off when a user presents a valid smart credential.
The main advantage of the new system is that members can now make use of 24-hour gym access, while maintaining the required level of security for the site. Regular opening hours are outdated, and the gym operates with complete flexibility for its employees and members.
Stoker Fitness hope that this will minimize busy periods, allowing a constant flow of members throughout the day, as well as increase diversity in the sports offered at different times – as there is more flexibility for use of space. “The new Paxton10 system significantly improves the user experience; our members now have more confidence to work out as they have access to the facilities when there is no supervision. This removes one of the barriers to exercise that some members experience and provides a much calmer environment,” Stoker said.
Overall, the Stoker Fitness owners, employees and members have found the system easy to use and can be managed remotely so site managers no longer need to physically attend the site to create users or manage system updates.
“Monitoring the system remotely and being able to check in and see that everything is going well gives me convenience and peace of mind,” Willem-Jan said.
This article originally appeared in the November / December 2021 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.