Easy access to physical activity for students

University of Bristol case study

12. Apr 2023

The University of Bristol is home to around 25,000 students and 8,500 staff, with 370 buildings in and around the city of Bristol. The Sport, Exercise & Health department operates three of these buildings, which are home to many facilities including a gym, studios, a swimming pool, sports halls, tennis, badminton and basketball courts, a sports medicine clinic and more.

The department serves approximately 6,000 paying members – made up of 90% students, 5% university staff, and 5% members of the public.

Around 69% of the student population engage with the department’s offerings that include free fitness classes, volunteering opportunities, its Bristol Moves rewards app, performance sport and more.

Uni of Bristol App

The challenge

The University of Bristol have used Legend’s leisure management software across its Sport, Exercise and Health department since April 2017. 

When new students and staff join the University, an API integration with the student and staff database automatically creates accounts in Legend. That means no manual data entry and no need to sign up. With single sign on (SSO), students and staff use their university login credentials (authenticated via their identity provider, Microsoft Azure AD) to access the University’s sports and fitness services via Legend’s digital member services portal. Easy and secure!

Knowing how seamless and easy this makes it for students and staff to access this portal, and with many using the App, the University wanted to make the App accessible via SSO too.

The App lets students, staff and other members book, access on-demand classes, manage their membership and more. A separate account and password was needed to login to the App – creating friction and presenting a security risk.

    The solution

    In 2022, the University of Bristol, Legend and myFitApp teams partnered on a project to roll out SSO App too, for the University’s students and staff.

    The project was a huge success, students and staff can now log into the App seamlessly and securely using the same university login credentials they use for the Legend digital member services portal and other university systems.

    The results

    • Improved data security
    • Removed a barrier to make accessing activity easier
    • Increased engagement with as many as 40,000 App uses through SSO each fortnight (up from 14,000 each fortnight)

    “Thanks to the close work we’ve done with the development teams at Legend and myFitApp, students and staff can now login to the app seamlessly and safely. That’s one less password to remember, and one less barrier to engaging in physical activity – a win all round! We now see as many as 40,000 app uses through SSO a fortnight. That’s significant as we have 25,000 students and 3 sports sites.”


    Arron Godfrey, Deputy Business Development Manager, University of Bristol

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