Lenovo sees a future in hybrid cloud


  • 11% YOY 3Q2020 growth for data centre group
  • Sees customers shifting back to hybrid cloud model


Lenovo sees a future in hybrid cloudSumir Bhatia (pic), Lenovo Data Center Group President, Asia Pacific, says business has been good. The data centre group saw 11% year-on-year growth for Q3 2020, and there was double-digit growth in Software Defined infrastructure (SDI), as well as solutions like high-performance computing (HPC).
For him, this increased demand is a result of companies preparing for the next big Covid-like event – even if they don’t know what it is.
“They have been saying, ‘We definitely want to future proof-this, we want to make sure that we continue our transformation’,” said Sumir. “That has definitely been on top of the minds of all the CIOs.”
Yet, Sumir is adamant that this growth is a continuing trend of the last few years, rather than a sharp uptick in response to the pandemic. “This transformation of providing customers with software defined infrastructure, with multi cloud high performance computing, and edge computing started a few years back. Some of the customers were already on that journey. This (pandemic) actually acted as a catalyst.”

Water-cooled High Performance Computers
One such recent customer is animation leader DreamWorks, with whom Lenovo announced a collaboration in Oct 2020. A typical computer-generated movie needs 200 million compute hours to render, and the studio was looking to upgrade its performance.
Lenovo supplied a system equipped with the Lenovo Neptune liquid cooling technology, resulting in HPC that is cooled by water from existing sources.
This is similar to what is now being used by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) who needed to upgrade its computing power two years ago in order to be able to support new meteorological modeling requirements.
“Not only did the department need to increase their range of weather forecasts to a week, they also needed to get more accurate results,” recalled Sumir.
The MMD’s old HPC system had reached its end of life, and after consultation, Lenovo proposed a water-cooled HPC system made up of 296 compute nodes with 8,000 cores, which brought its own advantages. “Firstly, being water-cooled saves energy. Secondly, it has a much smaller footprint, which enabled them to save space.”

A shift to cloud hybrid
Indeed, Sumir touted Lenovo’s capability to offer a “complete end-to-end portfolio” in their data center, but he stressed that firstly, the customer needs to decide what they want. “It starts with mindset. How can I be better in these circumstances? How can I adapt to my customer?”
What Sumir believes companies want now are to move back into a hybrid model. “We are finding a lot of companies repatriating back from the cloud. (But) this doesn’t mean that the cloud is not growing,” he said.
One reason is because companies are keeping an eye on regulatory changes. For example, he cites a bank whose employees and customers are now more likely to be working from home, but the government wants to make sure that the same level of security is maintained, and companies are beginning to be cautious where data resides.
Another reason is to improve performance. In a recognition of the rising importance of edge computing, Lenovo recently announced that SAP HANA can now be delivered on-premise, giving customers the option of keeping their SAP applications on premise together with their data.
On top of that, Lenovo also offers it as a pay-as-you-use service called TruScale, sometimes referred to as a Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) model. The hardware is installed on site, but users only pay for what they use.
TruScale was launched in 2019 as a proof-of-concept, and since then it has taken off. “You’d be surprised that Southeast Asia is an area where there’s immense interest,” said Sumir, specifically in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Sumir is hopeful that this is a harbinger of growth to follow. “You will start doing more and more things online,” he said. “This is not a temporary thing.”

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Build Up Tassie program offers disadvantaged teens apprenticeship skills and a future


Tired of sitting at a desk, Cianna Fitzpatrick decided to swap school shoes for steel capped boots.

Becoming an apprentice carpenter meant a steep learning curve for the 16-year-old from Clarendon Vale, in Hobart’s east.

“Carpentry … I thought it was laying carpets and doing that kind of stuff,” Cianna said.

“But once I’d actually done some work experience I figured out that it’s actually building the frames of a house, the soul of a house, as I call it.”

Cianna was one of six new apprentices to start their on-the-job training this week, as part of initiatives run through Catholic organisations in Tasmania.

The group builds social housing and houses for people on low incomes with St Joseph Affordable Homes.

Cianna Fitzpatrick and Connor Klemke will have secure employment for four years.(ABC News: Selina Ross)

Cianna said it gave her a good feeling to be helping other people move towards home ownership.

“Contributing to that just makes me feel really happy and excited that putting a roof over someone’s head will make them feel really good,” she said.

Changing mindsets and futures

The apprentices were selected through the Catholic Church’s youth employment and life skills coaching program Build Up Tassie, which helps young, disadvantaged Tasmanians.

The CEO of St Joseph Affordable Homes Ben Wilson said it was fortunate that the church’s entities could work together.

“Between those two entities we’ve merged an opportunity where we can not only provide the work-ready and work experience opportunities but we can guarantee a four year commitment of apprenticeship,” he said.

Montrose teen Connor Klemke was thrilled to have secure employment for the next four years.

“It’s made me proud and happy because I never saw myself doing this, two months ago, three months ago and now look at me,” Connor said.

During the pre-apprentice training, Connor loved the opportunity to try his hand at different trades before deciding which to pursue.

“I was set on being a concreter, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little boy,” he said.

“But then I started plumbing and, yeah, it’s awesome.”

Connor said he had adapted well in the transition from school life to full time employment.

“You adapt to the early morning wake-ups, making lunch, being out in the day, all day on your feet and in the sun.

“I’ve sort of had to adapt to the people I’m working with who are not the same age as me, so that’s made me mature a little bit.”

Program rewards enthusiasm

Build Up Tassie coach Adrian Broomhall said part of the recruitment process was an interview to assess the applicant’s “willingness to participate”.

“That, essentially, was our main criteria, the fact that they wanted to have a go,” he said.

“And that was about the only thing we held them accountable to through the early part of the program was ‘choose to turn up and try’.”

A bearded man in fluorescent tradie clothing and glasses stands in front of a construction site.
Coach Adam Broomhall has been impressed by the apprentices’ willingness to have a go.(ABC News: Selina Ross)

He said the apprentices’ enthusiasm and work ethic had impressed him.

“We’ve been really surprised by from our most recent group through the Build Up Tassie program and the St Joseph Affordable Homes Work Readiness program,” he said.

“We ran at a 96 per cent attendance rate, which is something we’ve never come across before, so we’re really pleased.”

“[We have] three carpenters, one plumber, one painter and one bricklayer.

“So they’ll work across all different stages of the building process and gain all sorts of different skills related to their trades,” he said.

“Our goal is not just for these apprentices to go through and tick off their trade qualification at the end, we want them to become mentor and advocates for other young people that have come from similar backgrounds, whatever that may be, to [encourage them to] simply have a go.”

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Packaging up a sustainable future


Joanne Howarth, the founder of Planet Protector Packaging describes
herself as someone who went from a waste offender to a sustainability crusader
after seeing the effect polystyrene was having in her packaging business.

“As the outsource partner for Australia’s largest meal kit company, I
was responsible for dispatching tens of thousands of polystyrene boxes to
households all around the country week after week,” Jo says. “Consumers were
largely unfamiliar with polystyrene and how to dispose of it.”

Jo spent almost two years researching and sourcing the globe for a
sustainable solution, coming across an innovation in the UK and, in so doing,
discovering the thermal properties of wool for insulative packaging.

Meeting challenges

The challenge became formulating a product that was suitable for both Australian summers as well as New Zealand winters. Two years of testing went into finding the right wool, discovering the proper formulation and finalising the design in consultation with many industry partners.

“Consumers were largely unfamiliar with polystyrene and how to dispose of it.”

“Australia became wealthy off the wool on the sheep’s back, and, indeed,
we have the best quality textile wool in the world,” Jo says. “But for thermal
insulation, we need the ugly stuff! This type of waste wool historically has
been either sold for pennies or discarded altogether.”

By securing a supply of what she needed, Jo was saving waste from
landfill, providing increased income to sheep farmers and wool processors and
giving new life to a sustainable material. Jo is very proud of the work the
company did in the beginning to bring this idea into reality.

The next challenge was getting her industry to embrace innovative,
sustainable alternatives to polystyrene that for most people are a totally new
concept. Jo says that large businesses, in particular, require a very long
cycle of testing and validation before they are confident enough to transition
away from what has been the market standard for the past 60 years.

“You will always have trail blazers willing to walk with you though the
early days, but large corporates and key accounts will need a bit more care to
get on board,” Jo explains. “I have never walked into a meeting with a
prospective client where they weren’t super enthusiastic about the concept of
our wool packaging. Convincing their Quality Assurance gatekeepers, that’s a
bit more work!”

Recognition for all the hard work

In June this year Jo was named as the laureate for the 2020 Cartier
Women’s Initiative for South Asia and Oceania, recognition that Jo sees as validation
of all the collective efforts of her whole team.

“Planet Protector Packaging is a place where sustainability meets
innovation,” Jo says. “From the beginning, I had a big vision as to what our
business could achieve if given the resources and my being nominated as the
Southeast Asia and Oceania Laureate is key to making this vision materialise.
It also makes me and the team so proud that we have been recognised globally
for our efforts. This is something really special; it is definitely the

highlight of my career.

“The most valuable lesson I learned through the Cartier process was to
‘think big’,” Jo adds. “Having the support of such an expansive network of
influential entrepreneurs, impact investors, academics and alumni is uplifting.
It gives me confidence and a renewed faith that I can realise my vison. As a
female entrepreneur there are more challenges, but if you believe in what you
are trying to achieve and you will have passion and resilience in bucket loads,
you can succeed.”

Winning the award has helped cement Planet Protector Packaging’s
credibility and created a lot of interest, providing the business with a
platform to expand globally. They are now investment ready to raise capital for
an expansion into the Southeast Asian market, one that Jo has always had her
sights firmly on.

“There are huge opportunities there, it accounts for 42.5 per cent of
the total global packaging market!” Jo explains. There are obvious challenges
for any business in establishing themselves in a market with which they are
largely unfamiliar, but what Jo calls the inherent value of the Cartier network
goes a long way to meeting this problem.

Expansion opportunities

“There is a whole ecosystem of impact investors, entrepreneurs,
prominent academics and alumni from INSEAD, people all committed to uplifting
female entrepreneurs and to growing their impact,” she explains. “Already they
are brokering introductions and strategic partnerships that will help our
business scale. Cartier are very visionary and generous, qualities I personally
value greatly and to have their support on this journey makes me really believe
that together we can achieve my mission to eliminate polystyrene from the
planet.”

Jo is adamant that being in business today is about more than generating
profit – that it’s about having a greater purpose and impact. And, Jo has a
clear “winner” when it comes to the most important lesson she has learnt on her
various start-up journeys that she’d share with aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Never, ever, EVER give up!” Jo avers. “Being an entrepreneur is a
challenge. You have passion and a vision of what you are working towards, but
you have finite resources and typically you are under-resourced. It’s a
juggling act between competing priorities, but it’s a lot like life, there’s
good days and bad, the ups and the downs, but regardless, stay true to your
passion. Don’t be defeated!”

Resilience and tenacity are two of the character traits Jo has observed
time and time again in successful entrepreneurs, many of whom have failed, and
failed multiple times.

“It is that belief in their vision and their commitment that sees them get themselves up, start over to drive success,” Jo says. “My resilience, not only in business, is something of which I am most proud.”

This story first appeared in issue 30 of the Inside Small Business
quarterly magazine



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Steve Smith captaincy, cheating’ scuffing guard, Tim Paine sledging, future, reaction, Rishabh Pant


The drawn third Test against India showed us Tim Paine isn’t always as cool as we think he is, the tourists have more guts than we realised and Steve Smith can never captain Australia again.

The 31-year-old was shocked and distraught to be caught up in controversy when he was accused of scuffing up Rishabh Pant’s guard on day five at the SCG.

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The English came hard for Smith. Former fast bowler Darren Gough blasted it as “plain cheating”, 2005 Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan labelled it “very poor” and ex-player and coach David Lloyd wrote in a scathing column Smith must not have “two brain cells to rub together”.

The truth is it was a case of Smith being Smith. The eccentric batsman is forever in his own cricketing bubble and was simply shadow batting and marking centre — a quirky habit Paine assured us his teammate performs regularly in every game and Justin Langer said it couldn’t possibly have done any damage to the pitch.

But as questions are asked about how long 36-year-old Paine has left in the top job, especially after dropping three catches and sledging Ravichandran Ashwin, it’s become clear he can’t be replaced by Smith.

Rightly or wrongly, Smith will forever be tainted by his role in the 2018 ball tampering scandal, which saw him banned for a year and prevented from holding any leadership position in Australian cricket until 2020.

While many in the cricket world, including Australian Test players Trent Copeland and Mark Waugh, leapt to Smith’s defence after this latest furore, the overwhelming sentiment from cricket fans on social media was this: Why, after all Smith has been through, would he put himself in a position to be judged for something that, plainly speaking, was just weird?

He did nothing illegal but shadow batting as a left-hander when you don’t even have another innings to play, then scraping the crease line, left Smith open to criticism he could easily have avoided.

RELATED: Real reason ‘filthy’ Tim Paine blew a gasket

RELATED: Smith responds to ‘cheating’ accusations

The vitriol that came his way showed the scars of Sandpapergate run deep, and any tiny misstep such as this proves Smith can’t escape his past. He certainly won’t be able to if he captains again, because his every move will be scrutinised more than ever.

A repeat of the Sydney scandal — and howls of “the sandpaper villain is at it again!” — will always be just one quirky habit away.

There’s another reason Smith might be better-suited to role where his tactical nous in the field is sought out but it’s informal. When youngster Cameron Green was drafted into the ODI squad to make his international debut earlier this summer, the best since Bradman was asked if he’d had much to do with the all-rounder since he arrived in camp.

Smith said he’d barely spoken to the 21-year-old, because he was so focused on hitting balls in the nets and working on his batting.

As an uncapped player, you’d hope senior players would take the time to make you feel welcome and get to know you. It’s certainly something you’d expect from the captain.

But Smith was too ensconced in his batting bubble to be distracted.

That’s fine — Smith is going to make a lot of Aussie cricket fans very happy if he sticks to his demanding training regimen and scores truckloads of runs for the next five years.

He should feel empowered to take whatever steps are necessary to maintain his status as the best batsman in the world — but if he lacks the people skills to befriend newcomers, he can’t be captain at the same time.



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Saints defender Dylan Roberton steps away to consider his AFL future


Roberton has played just one senior game since he collapsed at GMHBA Stadium with a heart condition in round four, 2018. He missed the 2019 season after having a defribillator surgically installed as a protective measure but returned in 2020 and played the opening game before losing his spot.

The father of three remained with the team in the hub on the Sunshine Coast but was unable to force his way into the side that made finals.

The respected defender had been part of the club’s leadership group and was considered one of the best intercept defenders in the game before the collapsed and was taken to hospital in Geelong.

He had played 37 games for Fremantle and 92 games for the Saints leading into this season and was part of the All-Australian squad in 2017 when he also finished runner-up in St Kilda’s best and fairest.

St Kilda released a statement asking for Roberton’s privacy to be respected while he contemplates his future.

The Saints resumed training last week and invited ex-Roo Mason Wood to join the squad this pre-season to trial for a list spot.

Billings said former Adelaide midfielder Brad Crouch would add some real class around the ball once he gelled with his new teammates, while the addition of former Richmond livewire Jack Higgins created options for the Saints.

Billings said Higgins was obviously a noted goalkicker who could play the high half forward role but he also had the engine to push further up the ground.

“He could potentially give us a different look at times through the midfield,” Billings said.

It wasn’t just the new arrivals impressing Billings. Premiership Swan Dan Hannebery is on track for a strong year after he returned for the final three games of 2020 having suffered a hamstring injury in round five.

Billings said the club would need to hold the noted trainer back to ensure he was a contributor throughout the season.

“‘Hanners’ is flying … he is someone we are going to look after with his history,” Billings said.

St Kilda were big improvers in 2020, defeating the Western Bulldogs in an elimination final before succumbing to eventual premiers Richmond in a competitive semi-final.

However the 25-year-old Billings – who has missed just one game in the past four seasons – said while the experience was invaluable, all teams started the year without a win.

“Every year is different, there are no guarantees for us this year,” Billings said.

Meanwhile Port Adelaide have locked in senior coach Ken Hinkley until the end of 2023, extending his contract by two years after he led the club to the preliminary final in 2020. The 54-year-old has been Port’s coach since 2013 and has reached two preliminary finals in his 178-game stint.

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Dal Santo names the player who is “so important” to North Melbourne’s future


Nick Dal Santo has singled out young gun Jy Simpkin as someone who has “so much upside” at Arden Street in 2021.

Simpkin, who played every game for North Melbourne in 2020, impressed as he averaged 20 touches and nearly four tackles.

The 22-year-old has noticeably bulked up during the off-season and impressed onlookers at training since returning from the festive season break.

Dal Santo said he was excited to see how the talented youngster progresses in 2021, saying Simpkin brings something different to the North Melbourne midfield.

“He is so important to their midfield,” he said on SEN Summer Breakfast.

“The young man who’s coming through with a handful of others, he does a few things on the football field that not many at North Melbourne can do.

“He is so important for their future, he’s a great player and has so much upside to come.”

North Melbourne will play their first pre-season game next month, when they travel to Hobart for their clash against Adelaide on February 28.





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Labor faces difficult transition as faction eyes the future


Factional tensions are brewing in the state Labor party, with the Left considering dumping one of its highest office-holders ahead of this year’s state convention as the faction looks to bolster its influence.

Assistant state secretary Steven May – the long-serving deputy to secretary Reggie Martin, the state ALP’s most senior administrator – has not been given an automatic endorsement from his faction to continue in the role.

It’s understood that while the Left PLUS [Progressive Left Unions and Sub-branches] faction may yet throw support behind him to continue, various alternatives are being considered, with a likely view to replacing Martin in the senior role within a year.

While Martin – who has been in the role since 2012 – is expected to seek re-election for another term, he will only serve out a year of his tenure, having been preselected for a Legislative Council seat at the March 2022 state election.

But May has told InDaily he will stand for re-election regardless.

“I’ll definitely be putting my name up again,” he said.

“I was first elected in October 2012, at the same time as Reggie, so I’m obviously pretty experienced – and Reggie and I have been a great working team together.

“In 2014, I was the marginal seat coordinator and we won that election… In 2018, I was responsible for the Legislative Council campaign that saw a swing to us.

“Since I’ve been assistant state secretary, Reggie and I have worked well together in regards to increasing membership as well, and I believe I’ve got broad support of the membership of the party.”

May, who was previously a long-time staffer for Left-faction figurehead Penny Wong, acknowledged there were “discussions in regards to whether I’d be supported again” but declined to comment on the faction’s position, saying only he believed he had “broad support amongst the ALP membership”.

“I believe I’ve got the experience to continue on and we’ve got two elections coming up, federal and state,” he said.

PLUS convenor Karen Grogan told InDaily: “We have not opened nominations yet but I anticipate Steve will be running again.”

However, asked whether the faction would endorse him to do so, she replied: “We will run a process within PLUS prior to the ALP nomination process [and] it would not be appropriate for me to pre-empt this process.”

The PLUS faction has had a shake-up since Labor lost Government, with former long-serving convenor David Gray stepping down and the faction conducting a broad review of its operations and approach, with a view to bolstering its influence on party policy and processes.

PLUS has long been the smaller of the two factions, with the Right’s Labor Unity, comprising the Labor “machine” that accounts for the vast majority of party business, including a stranglehold on preselections.

Recent convention dictates that the state secretary role will switch to the Left when Martin stands down, with some in the party speculating PLUS wants to install their presumptive state secretary in the assistant’s role now, to garner experience before taking the reins.

Others have told InDaily May is considered by some in his faction to be too close to Martin and the Right – an indication the factional détente that marked much of Labor’s tenure in office may have ceased.

One source told InDaily the faction had several options, including “retaining the status quo” until Martin moves to the Upper House, but that the decision will be considered in the broader context of “what it means for the broader machine deal”.

“There are definitely real live options here,” they said.

The dynamics in the state ALP have shifted in recent years with the election of Peter Malinauskas, the party’s first Labor Unity leader since the factions were formalised, with one insider noting the Right had demanded PLUS pay “a very significant price” when it backed Left-winger Jay Weatherill as Premier in 2011.

“All that stuff is being discussed [and] all the negotiations are deeply complex,” they said.

However, with little more than a year before the state election, any discord is unlikely to escalate in the short term.

“I’d be surprised if there’s any significant movements before the election,” the insider said.

“I don’t see any great argument that’s been put about for shaking things up too much between now and then.”

However, others in the party have suggested the Left’s refusal to give May an immediate endorsement ahead of the convention has created unnecessary division and bad blood.

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The Future of the Fitness Industry 2021


Uber changed transportation. Netflix put Blockbuster out of business. Toy sales from Target and Wal-Mart contributed to the demise of retailer Toys R Us. The introduction of the iPhone by Apple basically ended the sales of their popular iPod. Disruption is much more than a trendy catchphrase—it is a fundamental principle of business. Disruption is often the result of a competitor who figures out how to provide a better product or service at a lower price point. For example, the growth of online retail giant Amazon has led to the closure of many brick-and-mortar retailers. And as we’ve witnessed this past year, outside forces such as a pandemic can also cause a major disruption to numerous sectors and industries, including the fitness industry.

As challenging as the current climate is for the fitness industry, the future is nonetheless looking bright for those who survive the existing climate and, most importantly, evolve with how this increasingly changing industry. While there is no way to accurately predict the future, this blog offers a general overview of how COVID-19 is disrupting the fitness industry and includes a few educated guesses for how health and exercise professionals can help their businesses thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Here are five ways that health and exercise professionals could expect the industry to change in the foreseeable future.

1. The general public’s perception of fitness will finally change

ACE Certified Professionals have long known the role that regular exercise plays in promoting good health and reducing the risk of developing a chronic health condition. One bright spot for health and exercise professionals is that physical activity is finally being recognized by the general public as a means of achieving and maintaining optimal health. Despite years of the public health community attempting to educate consumers about the health benefits of exercise, many people still think of exercise solely as a way to achieve an aesthetic outcome like losing weight or growing muscle. As the medical community begins to understand the role of exercise for reducing the risk of fatality from COVID-19 and other diseases, it should lead to a growth in new fitness consumers who will need the guidance of an educated professional.

The health benefits of exercise have been understood for years, but the pandemic may be the catalyst that can finally encourage the general public to begin adopting healthier lifestyles. This, in turn, creates opportunities for health and exercise professionals with the ability to facilitate that change.

Amy Thompson, vice president of the Fitness Group for Pocket Media and an ACE Certified Health Coach, is excited about this growth opportunity. “In a post-COVID-19 world, the need to help others adopt healthier lifestyles is the perfect scenario for ACE Health Coaches who have the skills and abilities to help clients make the lifestyle changes necessary to establish healthier habits,” she says.

2. The delivery of fitness to the consumer is evolving

In an effort to curtail spread of the virus, many government entities forced the closure of fitness facilities all over the world. These mandated shutdowns have resulted in the bankruptcy of large health club operators such as 24-Hour Fitness and Town Sports International, as well as the closure of studio operators such as Flywheel and numerous independent business owners. These closures are a significant source of disruption and have resulted in lost jobs and incomes for thousands of health and exercise professionals. However, these closures have also encouraged more widespread use of virtual programming, which may provide tremendous business opportunities for ACE Certified Professionals. While home-based workouts are not new, the pandemic has spawned an explosion of online services that represent an entirely new way of delivering workout programs to consumers.

Facilities such as studios and health clubs have to pay rent for a physical location; when the mandated shutdowns occurred, operators had to close their businesses and forgo the ability to collect revenue while still being contractually obligated to pay rent. Companies that provide live-stream fitness classes, such as Peloton, Les Mills on Demand and the Mirror, have a major competitive advantage over traditional fitness facilities in that they can deliver workouts to an almost unlimited number of consumers while paying only a fraction in rent. Video fitness providers were experiencing gradual growth prior to the spring of 2020, but as governments established the shelter-in-place orders that forced facilities to close, that growth became exponential.

Virtual fitness classes can be delivered one of two ways: asynchronously (i.e., on demand), meaning a consumer can choose a workout from a library of previously recorded programs; or synchronously (i.e., livestream), where the consumer follows along with class as it is being taught live and broadcast over the internet. Whether on-demand or live, consumers looking for workout solutions at home quickly adapted and became accustomed to the convenience of doing an instructor-led workout from the comfort of their own home. This change in consumer behavior will create business opportunities for ACE Certified Professionals who can begin offering streaming workouts of their own.

Large companies are not the only ones providing streaming workouts. When health and exercise professionals were put on furlough or terminated by their employers, many responded by using services such as FaceTime, Zoom or Facebook Live to continue working with clients and teaching group fitness classes. Aimee Nicotera, an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor based in Massachusetts, was put on furlough and ultimately terminated by a national health club company. In response, Aimee turned her basement into a video-streaming studio and has begun offering workout classes that participants can either take live or through an on-demand system she established through Vimeo. Creating her platform has allowed Aimee to continue teaching to her clients in her current market and made it possible to reconnect with former group fitness participants in Southern California and South Florida, where she lived prior to her current residence.

3. Social media allows health and exercise professionals to market directly to the consumer

Another disruptive force that is changing the way that health and exercise professionals connect with clients is the use of social media. The traditional model of a fitness business involves working with clients in a physical location, such as a health club or traveling to work with clients directly in their homes. Prior to COVID-19, that model was already starting to change and now even more health and exercise professionals are adapting to the use of social media to attract new clients. Personal trainers can design and produce workout programs for a variety of outcomes, from weight loss to muscle growth, and then market it by creating engaging content on video platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

Between streaming platforms and social media channels, health and exercise professionals have a variety of ways to engage with and deliver solutions to clients. However, many individuals marketing fitness services via social media are relying primarily on physical appearance or creative content to promote their services. This creates a need for ACE Certified Professionals to communicate the benefits of working with a professional who holds an accredited certification.

4. Nothing will be able to replace the live, in-person fitness experience

While consumers are adapting to having access to workouts anywhere they have a screen and wi-fi connection, nothing can replace the connection that occurs between an instructor and their participants during a workout. Kira Stokes is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor who taught live classes in New York City prior to the pandemic. Stokes is also a well-known fitness personality on Instagram and created her own app that delivers her signature workout program, the Stoked Method. “I launched my app a year before the closures, and I’m extremely grateful for its success and continuous growth,” explains Stokes. “While the app will always be the core of my business, I can’t wait to get back to teaching live in-person classes and events when it is safe to do so.

5. The changing office environment will increase the demand for live, in-person workouts

The pandemic has spurred a dramatic change in office environments, as many organizations are realizing that modern technology allows employees to work remotely while staying connected with their co-workers. As a result, many are transitioning to a remote workforce and drastically reducing expenditures on office space. Working from home is convenient but people will undoubtedly want the opportunity to have live, in-person social interactions at some point during the day and many will seek them at their local fitness facility.

Yes, there will continue to be closures of both large and small fitness facility operators, and yes, streaming workouts will become a consistent part of the fitness landscape. However, once we are able to transition to whatever the new normal will be after the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, the need for instructors to lead live workouts, both group and one-on-one, will increase and create new opportunities for ACE Certified Professionals. Fitness consumers love the in-person connection of a live class, but they also appreciate the convenience of being able to do a streaming workout at home when their schedule doesn’t make a trip to the gym possible. As health clubs experience growth in the post-COVID environment they will need to adjust programming to offer both live and streaming options for their members.

Matt Wright, an executive in suburban New Jersey who is helping with the production of a new facility, understands the need to evolve operations and indicated the company he is working for is creating a space to allow personal trainers to deliver sessions via a streaming platform. As devastating and fatal as the virus has been, the silver lining is that once all of the data is reviewed, there is a strong possibility that health and exercise professionals will be considered essential personnel because we can help people achieve and maintain optimal levels of health.

Expert Discussion: What to Expect in 2021 for Health and Exercise Professionals

ACE Expert and Certified GFI Shannon Fable held a live discussion with 4 industry experts on what to expect and how to thrive as a health and exercise professional in 2021. Check it out!



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Coronavirus live news: France’s border with UK closed ‘for foreseeable future’; Europe exceeds 25m cases, reports say | World news


At a daily press conference this afternoon the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said by the end of the week there will be over 1,000 GP sites, 223 hospital sites, seven giant vaccination centres and 200 community pharmacies delivering the vaccine.

Everyone should have a vaccination available within 10 miles, he said.

He added that 1.26 million people have been vaccinated in England, 13,000 in Scotland 49,000 in Wales and 46,000 in Northern Ireland – nearly 1.5 million people in the UK.

By the end of this month he said he hoped to have offered every elderly care home resident a vaccine.

Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive, said the pressures on the NHS are real and growing. The number of Covid patients in hospital is growing “very, very rapidly”.

He added that if people in the top four priority groups get vaccinated, that should prevent the vast majority of Covid deaths.

The UK has vaccinated more people than countries like Germany and France, he said but the target was challenging and would require supply to expand.

They have to expand supply. But the supply is expanding, he says.

Most vaccinations would take place at GP practices, where GPs will vaccinate their local patients, while hospital hubs and larger vaccination centres, which will work seven days a week, with extended hours, would also be used.

He referenced Israel’s successful vaccination programme, which has operated through large vaccination centres. But the UK’s geography meant a mixed approach should work better, he said.

Over 80,000 people have been trained on these vaccinations, he says. Some 18,000 of them have already started work. St John Ambulance have contributed volunteers, while the armed forces would also be involved.

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Richmond, Damien Hardwick, girlfriend, Alexandra Crow, who is she, club employee, sales, wife, players, future


The Richmond employee in a new relationship with Tigers head coach Damien Hardwick has been unveiled as Alexandra Crow.

The footy world was abuzz with talk of the romance on Monday – just a few weeks after it was revealed the 48-year-old mentor had split with his long-time wife Danielle.

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Crow, reportedly in her 30s and a member of the Tigers’ commercial sales team, appeared to prepare for her new-found fame by deleting all of her social media pages, including Twitter and Instagram.

The Age reported she had been in a relationship with a staffer from another Melbourne-based AFL club before linking with Hardwick. Her ex has been helped through the break-up by his club.

Richmond is adamant Hardwick’s job is secure despite intense speculation in recent days he was preparing to stand down.

The club has confirmed its aware of the relationship between the two and The Age reported Hardwick had it approved by the club’s human resources so he could continue as coach.

The Herald Sun received a statement from the club on Monday after rumours were running wild in the footy community about the long-time coach.

“The club is aware that coach Damien Hardwick is currently in a relationship with a member of the club’s administration staff,” the statement read. “The club has no concerns with this under club policy. Beyond this, it is a private matter and we ask that privacy be respected.”

But the Herald Sun reported it has “rocked staff within the club and could affect the playing group”.

It comes after it was revealed Hardwick separated from his wife Danielle, with who shares three children.

Danielle was incredibly well-liked at Richmond and was referred to as the “second family” of Tigers captain Trent Cotchin and his wife Brooke in an Instagram post at Christmas.

She replied to the picture by writing: “What a special Christmas Morning. Our hearts are full. Love you Cotchins.”

Hardwick, one of the most successful coaches of the modern era, has guided the Tigers to three premierships in the past four years, including last year’s triumph against the Cats.

After leading the Tigers to a grand final win against Geelong, the 48-year-old had flagged the personal toll the season had taken on him.

“I’m going to take a bit of a longer break this year over summer,” Hardwick told 3AW.

“It’s been a pretty full on 3-4 years and we’ve done a hell of a lot of work and had a lot of success along the way but sometimes you need to step back.”

The Tigers are scheduled to return to training on Monday. After initially suggesting he may not return until February, the Herald Sun reports Hardwick could be back next week.

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