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Dec. 28 2007 12:00 AM

In a spirit of cooperation to grow the industry and clarify the roles of IHRSA and EHFA in the European health club industry, the two organizations have agreed to form a working group comprising two representatives from each organization. Hans Muench and Alison OKane will represent IHRSA, and Herman Rutgers and Jean-Ann Marnoch will represent EHFA. The committee will meet in January and hopes to make meaningful progress by the start of the annual IHRSA International Convention and Trade Show, which is being held March 5-8 in San Diego, California.
In a joint statement, Michael Levy, IHRSA Chairman, and Harm Tegelaars, EHFA President, said, We are experiencing a worldwide epidemic of obesity and a host of chronic and life-threatening diseases that could be eliminated or controlled through regular exercise. The health and fitness industry can and should play a pivotal role in improving the health of all Europeans. We are uniquely positioned to provide the public with the facilities and personal support they need to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
In order for the industry to take its rightful place in the healthcare sector, we must engage governments, the media and the healthcare community at all levels local, national, EU and global. This is no small task and will require commitment, effort and action from all stakeholders in the industry to make this happen.
The European health and fitness sector generates 20 billion in revenues, employs 370,000 persons and serves 40 million members in public and private health and fitness clubs across Europe.
Based in Brussels, the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA), with its origins in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization, represents the interests of the European Health & Fitness sector at the EU level. Its objective is More People, More Active, More Often. EHFA is also a standards setting body and promotes best practices in instruction and training in order to raise overall quality. For more information, please visit
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1981, which represents health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. Its mission is to grow, promote and protect the industry. The associations membership, both directly and through national federations, includes over 8,800 clubs in 74 countries, along with over 600 industry suppliers. For more information, please visit