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Planet Fitness builds ‘judgement free’ fitness center within BGCL as part of anti-bullying initiatve

October 12, 2018

Planet Fitness, Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S., has continued to extend its judgement free philosophy outside of its gyms with a surprise unveiling of the third mini Planet Fitness in New England. Following the successful openings of "Mini Judgement Free Zones" in Manchester, NH, and Lowell, MA, the newest mini Planet Fitness in the region is housed within the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence and will provide its youth members 14 and older with the ability to exercise in an inclusive and encouraging workout environment, without the risk of feeling judged or bullied.

The new fitness center was unveiled on October 11 with Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence staff, club youth, Planet Fitness representatives and local dignitaries. Featuring Planet Fitness's signature purple and yellow colors and branded equipment, the mini gym replicates the judgement free environment of Planet Fitness clubs, complete with inspirational messages written across the walls.

The unveiling is part of the company's national philanthropic initiative, The Judgement Free Generation®, aimed to spread kindness and end bullying faced by today's youth - and coincides with National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month taking place in October. The Lawrence fitness center renovation and equipment donation were made possible through a $25,000 grant donated by Planet Fitness to the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence as part of the company's partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as through in-kind vendor donations. A portion of these grant funds will be used to hire a Boys & Girls Club staff member to supervise the fitness center. The company and its franchisees continue to construct additional "Mini Judgement Free Zones" in local Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

Bullying has become an all-too-common issue in today's society. In fact, one in five youth reports that they've been bullied and bullying is the #1 concern of parents of school-aged children. Together with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the nation's leading youth development organization, Planet Fitness provides youth with evidence-based tools and trainings to create a culture where bullying is not accepted and kindness prevails, as well as awards scholarships to Boys & Girls Club members who promote kindness and acceptance in their communities.

"We are grateful to Planet Fitness for providing a critical need for our teens and helping us to reinforce the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally, with this ‘Mini Judgement Free Zone,'" said Markus Fischer, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. "We know the center will not only provide enhanced fitness opportunities, but also - and most importantly - help build our kids' confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to reach their full potential."

"We are honored to be able to provide the youth of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence the opportunity to be active in a safe and inclusive fitness environment which we hope will help to build a foundation for healthy futures," said Dineen Boyle, corporate social responsibility manager of Planet Fitness. "Bullying is unfortunately such a prevalent issue today, and through our Judgement Free Generation initiative in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs, we are aiming to empower young people to shape a world where bullying is not accepted and kindness prevails."


Did You Know?

The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence was established in 1891 and has been serving the youth of Greater Lawrence for 116 years.