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18 Nov 2019 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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17 Sep 2019

Justin Musgrove appointed CEO of Leejam, Saudi Arabia's largest fitness company
BY Tom Walker

Musgrove, the former Bannatyne Group chief executive, has more than 30 years' experience in the leisure and fitness industries

Musgrove, the former Bannatyne Group chief executive, has more than 30 years' experience in the leisure and fitness industries

Saudi Arabia-based Leejam Sports Company has appointed former Bannatyne Group chief executive Justin Musgrove as its new CEO.

Musgrove will take over the helm with immediate effect and will be tasked with further growing the company's Fitness Time-branded chain of health clubs.

With more than 100 sites, Fitness Time is Saudi Arabia's largest fitness company and Leejam has plans to expand the brand's footprint internationally. It already has locations open in United Arab Emirates and is in talks for further openings across the Middle East and North Africa.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Leejam said: "Our aim is to be the best, biggest and most advanced sports and fitness centre chain in the Middle East and North Africa and to steer society towards a healthy lifestyle, encouraging people to exercise daily."

While still considered to be in its infancy, the Saudi Arabian fitness market is expected to grow rapidly following the launch of the government's National Transformation Programme (NTP) in 2017.

The NTP seeks to get Saudis more physically active, after it was revealed that only about 13 per cent of the population is physically active.

The NTP will see the government throw significant investment behind its ambition to increase the number of active people from 13 per cent to 40 per cent by 2030.

There are currently two main players in the Saudi market: Fitness Time and Bodymasters, with around 30 clubs in the central/eastern region.

The remainder of the market consists of smaller operations and independent health and fitness clubs.

Leejam, which recently listed on the Saudi Arabian stock market, also announced that previous CEO Ahmar Azaam will stay with the company as an advisor to the board of directors.



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