The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



From educational tools and events to promotional programs and public policy initiatives, IHRSA brings you success... by association!

Join | Renew
Pledge Your Support

Search IHRSA Blog

Welcome to the IHRSA Blog

The Online Home of news.

Blog Home |  Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Entries in awards (21)


5 Woman Leaders Share Advice for Overcoming Challenges in the Fitness Industry 

Ellen Latham accepting the Woman Leader Award at IHRSA 2017

Each year, IHRSA recognizes an outstanding fitness industry professional with the Woman Leader Award—an honor that includes a scholarship to attend IHRSA’s Annual International Convention & Trade Show

The award is presented in honor of Julie Main, a woman whose tenacious work ethic and unbreakable spirit was an inspiration to all who knew her. As such, Woman Leader Award recipients are chosen because they exemplify Julie's qualities of leadership and drive.

With the deadline for the 2018 Woman Leader Award fast approaching (applications are due November 10), we asked five past winners what piece of advice they would share with aspiring woman leaders who will encounter challenges in their careers. Here’s what they said.

Continue reading "5 Woman Leaders Share Advice for Overcoming Challenges in the Fitness Industry."

Click to read more ...


Why Club Leadership Award Winners Love the IHRSA European Congress

Let’s be honest—it’s not hard to find people who love the IHRSA European Congress. 

Each autumn, about 500 health and fitness executives gather in a vibrant European city to attend thought-provoking presentations, network with industry peers, and visit leading local clubs. What’s not to love?

Still, we wanted to get a fresh take on the conference as we gear up for the 17th Annual IHRSA European Congress, 23-26 October in London. So we asked past European Club Leadership Award winners what they love about the event. 

Continue reading "Why Club Leadership Award Winners Love the IHRSA European Congress."

Click to read more ...


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Merritt Athletic Clubs Unveils New Brand Identity 

Merritt Athletic Clubs Unveils New Brand Identity  
Merritt Clubs, formerly Merritt Athletic Clubs, marked its 40th anniversary by launching a new brand identity that better communicates the continual evolution of the company’s fitness facilities and programs. In addition to the new name, Merritt now has a new logo, messaging, website, and signage that is already installed in its nine locations. “Our mission is to change the way people think about fitness,” COO Mark Miller said in a release. “To us, fitness means strengthening your body and mind in the comfort of a place that feels like home, with a friendly staff that feels like family. Our new brand is helping to tell this story and it truly captures our purpose of being the best part of our member’s day and the spirit of our clubs.”   

TRX Named IHRSA Associate Member of the Year
We’re excited to announce that TRX, a leading producer of functional training programs, education, and equipment, is our 2017 Associate Member of the Year! "We are delighted to honor our good friends at TRX for their ongoing support of IHRSA and for their work to grow the industry,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA's president and CEO. “When Randy Hetrick launched the first Travel X, the precursor to the TRX Suspension Trainer in 2004, he foresaw what the future of functional training would be for millions of fitness consumers. Since then, TRX has been a leader in delivering innovative products and programs designed to not only inspire people to be more active, but more importantly, help them achieve their fitness goals.” The Associate Member of the Year Award is presented annually to recognize an IHRSA Associate Member for their significant contributions to the advancement of the health club industry, as well as their support of IHRSA, its members, and its mission through program and event participation, advertising, and sponsorship. The award will be presented during IHRSA 2017 in Los Angeles, CA, March 8-11. Read the full “TRX Named 2017 Associate Member of the Year” press release.

Blink Fitness Offers Amazon Lockers in 7 Manhattan Clubs
Blink Fitness announced Wednesday that seven of its 11 Manhattan locations are now home to Amazon Lockers, which offer members and the community a self-service delivery location to pick up and return packages from Amazon Lockers are cropping up nationwide and there are more than 100 in and around New York City and, according to Blink, this is the first time Amazon Locker has worked with a fitness club. "Blink's collaboration with Amazon is a natural fit to benefit both our members and the community at large," said Blink Fitness President Todd Magazine. "Our member experience comes first, so we're thrilled that members will no longer have to worry or go out of their way to receive a package. Secondly, the Amazon Lockers will help introduce our state-of-the-art facilities to a new audience and hopefully encourage them to make their fitness resolutions with Blink."

Equinox CEO Talks Trump, Company Growth

Last week, Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak spoke to CNBC about how President-elect Donald Trump may affect business, and shared his thoughts on company growth and the SoulCycle IPO.

33% of Canadians Resolved to Improve Physical Fitness in 2017
One in three Canadians said improving their physical fitness and eating habits was their top New Year’s resolution, according to a new Ipos survey that was conducted on behalf of GoodLife Fitness. The survey also found that 21% of Canadians said they would focus on financial goals; 13% wanted to dedicate more time to travel and leisure; 11% planned to put a stop to bad habits, like drinking and smoking; and 10% will try to spend more time with family and friends. “It’s great to see more Canadians choosing fitness and nutrition as their number one resolution for 2017 because it suggests people are making positive choices when it comes to eating well and being active, with the goal of feeling better overall,” said David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness.


There's One Month Left to Apply for IHRSA 2017 Awards

Don't miss the November 11 deadline to apply for the following IHRSA awards, which will be presented during IHRSA 2017, March 8-11 in Los Angeles.

The Woman Leader Award in honor of Julie Main 

IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore with 2016 Woman Leader Award recipient Mo Hagan

Julie Main made a meaningful impact on the health and fitness industry, her colleagues, and her community. IHRSA proudly offers the Woman Leader Award in honor of Julie, whose tenacious drive and unbreakable spirit was an inspiration to all who knew her. Learn more about Julie.

Outstanding Community Service Award

The 2016 Outstanding Community Service Award went to The Claremont Club

Awarded annually to recognize an IHRSA club that has made a longstanding commitment to making a difference in and beyond their community.

The inspiring stories of award recipients will be shared with IHRSA 2017 attendees during an award presentation, including a video highlighting their achievements.

Learn more and download the applications on the IHRSA awards page. The deadline to apply is November 11, 2016.

And be sure to check out our blog posts about the 2016 recipients:


Schwinn Class Tamer App Garners Award

iPhone screen shot of the Schwinn Class Tamer app.The Schwinn Class Tamer App won the Outstanding Achievement Award, given by the Interactive Media Awards.

StairMaster, which markets and distributes Schwinn indoor group cycling, and Pinckney Hugo Group, which created the app, won in the Sports category. According to a press release the app “surpassed the basic standards of excellence that comprise the web’s most professional work.”

“It was truly a collaborative effort that led to the Schwinn Class Tamer App,” said Merrill Richmond, vice president of sales and marketing, StairMaster, in the press release. “Together, with Pinckney Hugo Group, we were able to develop the premier music player for group exercise professionals. It is a tool organized intuitively with large, easy-to-read fonts and controls to help them stay organized while they energize their classes.”

The entire press release can be found on the Pinckney Hugo Group website.


Thorstad Takes Home European Club Leadership Award

European Club Leadership Award winner Olav Thorstad, right, accepts the award from IHRSA CEO and President Joe Moore.Olav Thorstad, CEO of Health & Fitness Nordic, received the IHRSA 2014 European Club Leadership Award, presented at the European Congress, which is currently taking place in Amsterdam.

Thorstad is a visionary with a holistic view of the industry, shares his insights and leadership via international and national summits and seminars to help other industry operators.

“We are happy to honor Olav for his great leadership, strong understanding of business cultures, and his ability to attract and retain talent that shares his vision,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO, who presented the award.

The IHRSA Awards Program seeks to “recognize, celebrate, and inspire.” For more information about IHRSA’s annual industry awards, including prior recipients and open applications, please visit


IHRSA's Augie's Quest efforts gets gold star ... actually, award

Augie, Lynne, Elvis and Las Vegas performers during the 2013 BASH for Augie's Quest.IHRSA’s connection with Augie’s Quest is to both support further research for a cure of ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and fitness pioneer and friend, Augie Nieto. It certainly is not done for any awards or recognition. 

Recently IHRSA was recognized by ASAE – an association that supports and represents associations – with its Power of A Gold Award for its role as facilitator in bringing the fitness industry together to support Augie’s Quest, which funds research and drug development to end ALS.

Read on for more on the ASAE award.


Star Trac is Gold's Gym 'Vendor of the Year'

Star Trac has been named Vendor of the Year—Equipment by Gold's Gym.

Gold's Gym Franchise Association and Gold's Gym corporate vote based on satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the company for future purchases.

“We are thrilled to have been named the Gold’s Gym Vendor of the Year,” said Sal Pellegrino, director of Key Accounts at Star Trac, in a press release. “We have worked hard to foster a strong relationship with Gold’s Gym and to provide true solutions to their fitness needs, both at a corporate level and for the franchisees.” 

Check out more in the Star Trac press release.


Pulis garners 'Outstanding Women' award

Faith Pulis, president and CEO of The Thoreau Club in Concord, Mass., has been tabbed the 2014 Outstanding Women of Family Business recipient. The award is presented by The Warren Group and Family Business magazine.

Pulis, a third-generation member of the family business, hoped to diversity and broaden the family business 10 years ago when she took over operations. The 70-acre campus that houses a day camp, wellness center and health club, has moved to year-round from seasonal and now offers tennis, swimming, fitness, spa services, full and half day camps, birthday parties, sports rehab, nutrition, Pilates, a league swim team and personal coaching. The Thoreau Club boast 85% member retention.

Visit The Thoreau Club for more on Pulis and the award.


Scholarship available for IHRSA Institute

For those who are not aware, IHRSA offers a way to help you get to the IHRSA Institute.

The John McCarthy Merit Scholarship, named for IHRSA's first executive director, includes full registration, program materials and handouts, social and networking events, lodging, and meals, as well as a $500 travel stipend. That is a $2,850 value.

Rick Devereux, IHRSA's former director of Operations and Marketing, originally conceived the scholarship and was responsible for the fundraising that helped established the fund. He wanted to establish this scholarship to honor McCarthy for his passion about the need for the education the Institute provides.

The Institute, back for the first time since 2009, will be Aug. 5-8 at the Rizzo Conference Center on the University of North Carolina campus.

Deadline to submit the materials for the scholarship is June 6. Go to to download the application and reference questionnaire.