The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is pleased to announce the appointment of its newest International Ambassadors:

    • Egypt - Tamer Farag (Global Sports Company);
    • India - Pankaj Balwani (Advansys);
    • Italy - Gianluca Scazzosi (Wellink); and
    • Japan - Takenori Furuya (Club Business Japan).

    Current IHRSA Ambassadors include the recently appointed Luke Chen of China, and Doug Miller of Sales Makers International in Scandinavia, who has served as Ambassador to Scandinavia, for several years.
    “IHRSA’s International Ambassadors bring a wealth of experience and expertise from across the global industry,” said Joe Moore, President and CEO of IHRSA. “Not only does each new Ambassador represent their respective countries, but also the global industry as a whole. We are confident that these new appointees will help to grow and strengthen the connections within the international health and fitness community,” stated Moore
    Tamer Farag, the newly appointed IHRSA Ambassador of Egypt, is CEO of Global Sports Company, which has a sub-franchise of Gold’s Gym in Zayed, Africa, along with a Royal SPA facility and Equilibrium brand. His group is expanding in Egypt and the Middle East in health and fitness, beauty, and spas. Until 2008, Tamer was the regional technical director of six branches of Gold’s Gym in Egypt, managing all personal trainers, fitness instructors, nutritionists and physiotherapists. He has lectured for ISSA for personal trainers, and is also an IDEA Ambassador.
    Tamer and IHRSA have identified three major benefits of IHRSA membership as the focus of his promotional effort in his new role with IHRSA: publications (magazine, newsletters, research) of interest to the chairpersons, CEOs, GMs and key management staff of clubs and suppliers; educational materials, (ongoing CEUs, books and magazines) of interest to fitness managers, personal trainers and health and fitness enthusiasts; and events and trade shows with educational seminars.
    “I believe that the first two areas of focus are the direct way to achieve more awareness of IHRSA and encourage the key persons to become members of IHRSA,” stated Tamer.
    The new IHRSA Ambassador of India, Mr. Pankaj Balwani developed his company, Advansis India Private Ltd., over the past five years as a manufacturer and supplier of Isokinetix rehabilitation equipment from his headquarters in Pune, India. Advansis now supplies full solutions for fitness, rehab and health diagnosis solutions, along with promoting women’s fitness and geriatric fitness solutions in India. He successfully completed a degree in Fitness Management in 2004.
    “My goal is to spread awareness about the objectives of IHRSA and get operators to understand how they can benefit from the wealth of information, research, networking and other opportunities available to succeed in the club operations business,” said Balwani.
    Balwani will organize IHRSA’s Management Seminars in India in September 2009 and work to build the recognition and support for IHRSA through increasing IHRSA membership and IHRSA event attendance. His ultimate goal includes making the Indian fitness industry self-regulating through the formation of an Indian Fitness Association representing clubs and suppliers from India. This Association would represent the Indian industry and assist in providing standards, certifications, and communications about the health and fitness industry.
    “We are very pleased to find such a strong representative for IHRSA who is well-respected by clubs and suppliers alike, and who is committed to growing the relatively immature Indian fitness industry to make it more professional and successful. He will be a great asset to opening the awareness of the industry and its people to the benefits and successes found in working with IHRSA in India,” said John Holsinger, IHRSA Director, Asia-Pacific.
    Mr. Takenori Furuya, new IHRSA Ambassador to Japan, was a soccer player on one of the strongest university teams in Japan, Waseda University. Following graduation, Takenori joined Senoh Corporation where he created the “Fitness Management” booklet provided to customers of the top exercise equipment manufacturer in Japan. This publication then developed into Senoh’s monthly “Club Management” magazine. Taking the magazine independent to provide a neutral influence to the industry, he renamed it “Fitness Business” magazine, which is currently affiliated with IHRSA’s Club Business International.
    Furuya’s company, Club Business Japan Inc., has three magazines covering a range of fitness industry professionals: club owners and managers, trainers and instructors, and club members. The three websites provide the biggest fitness portal in Japan, a job site and a fitness product purchasing on-line shop. It also conducts educational seminars and club tours for club operators in Japan. He is currently a board member of the FIA Japan and also reports industrial data to the annual Leisure white paper in Japan.
    “Having Takenori’s very successful experience in the publishing business as IHRSA’s representative in Japan provides a good balance between the clubs and suppliers in our industry. Along with the well-established Club Business Japan relationship with Club Business International in publishing, his knowledge of the leaders in the Japanese fitness industry will help in providing the right IHRSA information, programs and tools for the industry to continue their very successful development,” said John Holsinger
    The new IHRSA Ambassador of Italy, Gianluca Scazzosi, has spent 20 years in the fitness industry as an entrepreneur, manager, and consultant. He has run development projects for some of the major Italian fitness chains, and previously held the position of Operations Director at Fitness First in Italy. He is now the founder, major partner and Managing Director of Wellink, a company that provides consulting services to clubs, spa, wellness facilities and corporations, and develops new business ventures in the industry.
    “Gianluca is well respected in the Italian fitness community. We are very pleased to have him as part of our global Ambassador team,” said Hans Muench, IHRSA Director, Europe.
    For further information about the new IHRSA Ambassador appointments, please contact John Holsinger, IHRSA Director, Asia Pacific at +61-2-9241-1216, email: or Hans Muench, IHRSA Director, Europe at +49-170-4200904, email:
    The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. The association’s membership includes more than 9,745 clubs in 78 countries, along with more than 740 industry suppliers.