Members of the newly-formed IHRSA Europe Council gave the associations staff the green light to continue with its current direction, which is aimed at helping the industry grow in Europe and globally. The Council was formed to guide the association in its European development plans.
The consensus of the group, which comprises club company CEOs, federation heads and other industry leaders, was that IHRSA should continue to strengthen and enhance its traditional program offerings in Europe, including the annual IHRSA European Congress, IHRSA University, Club Business Europe magazine, the IHRSA European Market Report, Passport program, networking opportunities and other products and services that would help member clubs and the industry grow.
Joe Moore, President of IHRSA, said, As clubs and manufacturers get involved with the association, they begin to think beyond their own businesses and think more about growing the industry as a whole. The more people who get involved, the more the industry benefits. He noted that any profits that IHRSA realizes from European activities are reinvested in program and services for European members.
Many Council members expressed confusion concerning recent communications from the European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA) about that organizations future direction. Christian Pierar, a member of the EHFA board and the IHRSA Europe Council, said IHRSA and EHFA are establishing a working group to determine areas where the two organizations might cooperate to grow the industry, particularly in the area of public policy.
No one can beat IHRSA on conventions, meetings and trade shows, said Mr. Pierar, who is also chairman of both the Belgian Employer Organization for the Fitness Industry and the Belgian Fitness Federation.
Rasmus Ingerslev, CEO of fitness dk and a board member of the Danish Health & Fitness Organization (DHFO) added, IHRSA has an extremely strong position in delivering value to members.
Hans Muench, who will become the Director for IHRSA Europe in January 2008, commented that IHRSA has always played an important role in introducing leaders to one another, who not only share ideas but also often develop business interests together. Mr. Muench, who will work out of Germany where he resides, has worked formally and informally with IHRSA since its inception over 25 years ago. He established the associations international department and developed its strategy for international development.
With a total membership of more than 8,800 clubs worldwide, IHRSA currently has 2,100 member clubs in Europe.
IHRSA Europe Council members include: Kilian Fisher, ILAM, Ireland; Antonio Macias, AGAP, Portugal; Maria de los Angeles Santiago, Sports Managers, Spain; Ramon Canela and Rod Hill, DiR Fitness, Spain; Christian Pierar, DFO, Belgium; Rasmus Ingerslev, fitness dk and DHFO, Denmark; Doug Miller of Sales Makers, UK; Matthias Schmitz, Fitness First, Germany; John Harris, Stars Fitness, Austria; David Minton, Leisure Database, UK; Anastasia Yusina, Strata Partners, Russia; Theo Hendriks, Sports and Leisure Group, The Netherlands; Christophe Andanson, FHRSA, France; and Paul Eigenmann, Qualitop, Switzerland.
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. The associations membership includes over 8,800 clubs in 74 countries, along with over 600 industry suppliers. For more information, please visit


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