Power couple

Zone Six, health and fitness Loughton

Together Cristina and Tom hope to shake up the world of health and fitness in the Loughton area - Credit: Zone Six

Zone Six in Loughton offers an integrated approach to health and fitness, drawing on founder Tom Kopelman’s experience as a top physio at a premiere league club, and his partner Cristina Sidoli’s shrewd business brain. As we discover, together they’re a force to be reckoned with

First off, can you tell us a bit about your background, where you're from etc?
TK: I grew up in South Woodford, having gone to Bancroft’s School, before moving to Woodford Green and then Loughton. I trained to become a physiotherapist at the University of East London before moving into professional football. 
CS: I moved to Essex when I was 11 and have lived the majority of my life in Loughton and went to Trinity. I then studied Business Management at The University of Nottingham and went straight into working for an international retailer.

Was health and fitness always something of interest?
TK: I grew up in a medical family, with my dad being a professor of medicine, mum a nurse and sister a doctor. I played cricket from a young age, playing for Essex 2nd XI and the MCC. Injuries whilst playing began my interest in physiotherapy 
CS: Yes definitely. I played and coached tennis from about ten years old, amongst other sports and going to the gym, so I’ve always led an active lifestyle. In fact, it was through sport that me and Tom met! At Woodford Wells Sports club, where I played tennis and Tom played cricket.

Zone Six health and fitness Loughton

Unlike your standard gym, Zone Six offers a fully integrated service - Credit: Zone Six

What did you do prior to Zone Six?
TK: I began my career in the NHS and have had extensive experience in a variety of sports such as rugby, cricket and boxing before moving to work in football full time. I currently work as a First Team Rehabilitation Physiotherapist for a London Premier League Football Club to rehabilitate and prepare some of the world’s top players to compete in the Premier League, international tournaments and including in the Champions League final. I’ve travelled internationally and visited some of the world's most renowned sports rehabilitation centres and have brought these experiences into Zone Six. 

How did the idea for Zone Six come about?
TK: My experience in elite sport means that I know what services professional athletes receive and that it works to achieve results, whether it is bringing an athlete successfully back from injury or getting an athlete to the height of their performance. I wanted to be able to provide all aspects of what an elite sports person would receive in professional sport and deliver this to everyday clients of all abilities. Our team of physiotherapists, massage therapists, strength & conditioning and mindset coaches work together to provide a unique, integrated service to our clients including links to leading nutritionists’, doctors and specialists across London and Essex. 

Zone Six health and fitness Loughton

The Z6 Club enables clients to train in small groups with elite level coaches - Credit: Zone Six

Why did you choose Loughton as the location for the business?
CS: Having both grown up around here we know the area really well and understand that there is nothing like this here. 
Can you briefly describe the services that Zone Six offer?
TK: As well as physiotherapy, massage therapy and rehabilitation, we provide strength & conditioning coaching, with semi-private and 1:1 personal training. Our semi-private membership, The Z6 Club, enables our clients to train in small groups with our elite level coaches, providing them with progressive training plans personalised to them. Clients also receive access to a nutrition hub. We take all the stress away by writing the programme for them, coaching them through it, understanding their goals - all they need to do is turn up! We also provide the support needed to remove mental barriers and develop mental fortitude and enable our clients their true potential, whether that be in work or sport.

What has been the biggest challenge in setting up the business?
TK: Cristina has been the brains behind everything ‘business’ related but that’s taken a lot of time and learning. We’ve been determined to do almost everything ourselves but obviously have had to utilise the services of relevant experts for certain things.
CS: Being patient has been one of the most difficult things. As we are a new business it has taken time to set up, alongside all the challenges of operating during a pandemic. 

How do you see the business evolving over the coming year?
CS: We have big plans for how we will evolve, however we are currently focussing on building the foundations of providing our clients with the highest level of service and care. In the short term, we would love for evolution to come through the word spreading from our satisfied clients. 

What would you say to someone thinking about coming to Zone Six?
CS: Come and have a chat with us, we enjoy meeting new people and seeing how we can support them achieve their goals.