By- Mr Rajesh Shetty, General Manager The Acres Lifestyle Club & The Fern Residency.
Private Clubs first came to India during the British period, where officers founded their own place of peace and refuge to interact and socialize with their fellow country men, with billiards and bridge, waiters who bent low when serving, cricket on the lawns and many more. Club culture was ‘a thing of beauty and a joy forever’ for our imperialist rulers. Earlier, the facilities of Private clubs were only meant for the Britishers and the elite Indian. However, as India retained its private club culture, the age old perceptions still continue to be propagated.
The purpose of a private club in the Modern India of 21st century, is to create a community built on shared values. It is the best platform to connect with new people and their culture while enjoying a peaceful, quiet time with friends and family, and much more. Listed here are 5 myths about private clubs that need to be debunked:
1) Club membership is expensive and a waste of money:
If we consider the amount of money that we spend on enrolling in gyms and other sports, eating out and entertainment, a lifestyle club membership is far less costly and offers every facility under the same roof. The training facilities and dining options are also quite subsidized for members which makes it worth their while as well. Even banquets and rentable areas of the club are offered at a discounted price for members .
2) Clubs are for old people:
This is far from the truth. Lifestyle clubs have something for every age group – sports and gyms for younger people, swimming pool for all, restaurants and indoor sports for all age groups and open spaces which everyone appreciates especially in today’s age when open spaces are dwindling.
3) Clubs only benefit their members:
Members of lifestyle clubs use their membership to entertain family and friends at the club where the guests can avail of the facilities by paying a small usage fee. By this, lifestyle clubs are able to offer their services to non-members as well which is enterprising and brings joy and stature to the members – as they are able to flaunt their club facilities to their family and friends and thereby reinforce their stature and lifestyle among others. The facilities are also used by members to further their business propositions. They use the club as a meeting place therefore creating a high profile/premium imagery of themselves in front of their business associates which can help seal the deal.
4) Clubs are only for boring people who don’t enjoy going out or experimenting:
A lifestyle club in addition to sports facilities and dining options has a host of events lined up regularly – shows, workshops, classes etc. which members can avail of. It provides a variety of activities and events that members can choose or experiment from. It’s all under one roof and they don’t need to hunt for the same anywhere outside.
5) Private clubs are only for family people :
Lifestyle clubs offer memberships for families, couples, singletons and also corporate memberships serving different purposes. Thus it’s not only limited to families. For example, for couples and singletons it could be a hub to meet people and socialize and maintain their physical well-being, for corporate executives, it might be a stress buster whereas for families with kids, it’s like a home away from home with all facilities for all members under one roof
Lifestyle clubs are helping members balance fun and family by offering more social activities for families, children and guests. The entire family can enjoy a wide range of offerings, including pool-based activities, game nights, themed parties and other family events. Many clubs offer junior sports camps for children to play golf, tennis or swim. Coffee-shop cafes, youth rooms and spa amenities also make clubs a destination to serve all members of the family. The services provided by contemporary clubs are much more flexible and are improving.