The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) today announced that more than 12,000 fitness industry professionals from 70 nations gathered to celebrate the associations 27th Annual International Convention & Trade Show, which came to a conclusion on Saturday.


On behalf of IHRSA, I extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude to all who joined us last week in San Diego, said Joe Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer of IHRSA. The superior quality of the educational programming and the trade show made our great event the best ever, and San Diego was more than a gracious host city. It is our hope that each and every attendee returns to their business with a renewed commitment to grow our industry with the collective goal of enriching the lives of all through regular exercise.


A record number of trade show exhibition space at IHRSA 2008 was sold, creating the worlds largest health club in the San Diego Convention Center. This year, 413 exhibitors occupied 400,000+ square feet of exhibit space, displaying the latest and greatest in nearly 30 categories of health and fitness equipment, products and programs.


Nearly 200 educational and networking sessions were held at this years convention, including memorable presentations by Bob Woodruff (sponsored by Precor), Kjell Nordstrom (sponsored by Technogym), Dick Vitale (sponsored by Matrix Fitness Systems), Martina Navratilova (sponsored by SPRI Products) and the 4th Annual IHRSA Technology Summit (sponsored by Checkfree now part of Fiserv).


For the fourth consecutive year, the event was held in conjunction with the 18th Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference, presented by the American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP). This partnership provides the unique opportunity for members of the health and fitness industry to network with like-minded professionals from a wide range of industries committed to health promotion.


At IHRSAs Annual Meeting, the associations 2008-2009 Board of Directors was announced. Gene LaMott, former President and CEO of Golds Gym International and current Chairman of the Board, Total Woman Gym and Atmosphere Day Spa, was elected as IHRSAs Board Chairperson. LaMott will succeed Michael Levy, effective July 1. Jeff Klinger, Co-Founder and CEO of Anytime Fitness, David Hardy, President of CLUBFIT and Founder and President of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, and Kilian Fisher, Chief Executive of ILAM, the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management, Ireland, were elected by the membership to begin serving terms on IHRSAs Board of Directors effective July 1.


In ceremonies held at the convention, Geoffrey A. Dyer, Founder of Lifestyle Family Fitness, and IHRSA Associate Member Matrix Fitness Systems were recognized with IHRSAs annual honors. Geoff Dyer was presented with the Dale S. Dibble Distinguished Service Award, and Chris Clawson, President of Matrix Fitness Systems, accepted the IHRSA Associate Member of the Year Award.


The health and fitness industry turned out in grand fashion in support of The Beach BASH for Augies Quest, which was held in conjunction with IHRSA 2008 on Friday, March 7. The third annual event drew 1,100 attendees, who raised 1.5 million dollars in the fight to combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrigs disease). Augies Quest has raised more than $12.4 million to date. The event was emceed by NBCs Today Show national correspondent Natalie Morales, featuring Pat Monahan from Grammy award-winning band Train, and NFL Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott. All proceeds will benefit Augies Quest, which, in conjunction with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), is an aggressive, cure-driven effort, singularly focused on treatments and cures for ALS.


Preparations are in full swing for next years 28th Annual IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show to be held March 16-19, 2009, in San Francisco. With the theme A World of Opportunity, it will bring fitness professionals and industry suppliers from the four corners of the world to meet and develop strategies to maximize opportunities to grow the fitness industry on a global basis.


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 9,100 clubs in 75 countries, along with over 730 industry suppliers. For more information, please visit