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.



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Entries in programming (3)


Clubs need to have programs for older generation

Maureen Hagan presented a session during the IHRSA convention on catering to the older generation.Try these numbers on for size: every day for the next 17 years, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65; the senior population will double, with the 85 and older segment the fastest growing part of the elderly population. 

So, what does that mean and why does the fitness industry need to know this? 

The next set of numbers may answer those questions for you. According to IHRSA, the number of health club members who are 55 years and older grew 343% from 1987 to 2003, compared to 180% for ages 35-54. 

Figure it out yet? 

The fitness industry certainly needs to be aware of the opportunity and responsibility in front of them, which is being cognizant of the needs for older populations, as well as knowing how to provide those needs. 

Read on.

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Much has changed in the past few decades

Robin Russell of Bentall Centre Athletic Club in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, put it best.

“If one doesn’t evolve in this industry, one disappears,” said the club’s general manager. 

It doesn’t matter what aspect it is – programs, gym aesthetics, sports – the fitness industry in many areas can turn on a dime. And a club needs to be on top of the ebbs and flows, otherwise it will see members migrating across town to a spot that offers what they want. 

The question is, what do you change and when is the best time? 

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Clubs have to be ready for change when summer ends


For many sports and fitness clubs around the world, the transition from summer to the fall, and beyond, doesn’t always mean a huge change in membership or visits. 

That doesn’t mean they just sail into a 9-month or so time frame when kids are in school, college students are back on campus, teachers are off to work again, or vacations and trips are no longer keeping members away. 

While overall numbers generally don’t fluctuate a whole lot, where those numbers are often do. No longer is the middle of the day – always a hectic time during the summer – the time when youth arrive. Adults now will come during school or after work. 

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