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Inclusive Fitness Coalition Launches New Partnership For Inclusive Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (May 10, 2017) Today, the Inclusive Fitness Coalition (IFC) launched a new charge focusing on building inclusive health communities that provide the 54 million people living with disability in the United States equal access and opportunities for healthy living. This announcement comes as the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are celebrating 10 years of promoting physical activity inclusion under the IFC. In 2007, NCHPAD and ACSM joined forces to begin the national initiative. More than 210 member organizations representing national and international disability, advocacy, fitness, sports, health and rehabilitation interests committed to the common vision of universally inclusive fitness opportunities now have a new charge.  Under the umbrella of a global campaign, Commit to Inclusion, the new Partnership for Inclusive Health will unite national and international organizations behind disability inclusionary practices in healthy community efforts.

This new charge to build inclusive health communities will include Guidelines for Disability Inclusion in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Program Initiatives to help people with disabilities who face significant barriers when attempting to access health and wellness activities. The Guidelines are used to assist communities in promoting higher rates of inclusion among their members with disabilities.

Five organizations were announced as early adopters to the Partnership sharing a commitment to inclusion and ongoing inclusionary activities:

  • Active Schools is bridging the gap to resources and technical assistance for inclusion in physical education and physical activity environments to over 22,000 U.S. schools.
  • America Walks has launched the Designing for Inclusive Health Micro Grant program to foster inclusion in walking and walkable communities.
  • National Association of Chronic Disease Directors has selected five states and 10 local communities to collaboratively build healthy communities specifically designed to include people with disabilities.
  • IHRSA, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is pursuing partnerships and initiatives for the quest to increase opportunities for people with disabilities through better programming, marketing, and staff training through Universal Fitness Innovation & Transformation (UFIT).
  • The American Heart Association is committed to ensuring that ALL people have access to safe places to be physically active through our advocacy for inclusive policies, development of accessible programs and delivery of education for health and well-being regardless of ability.

Since the 2014 launch of Commit to Inclusion, more than 90 commitments have been made, reaching over 7.2 million individuals with disability internationally. The new Partnership for Inclusive Health will further elevate these commitments and provide a forum around the charge to build inclusive health communities.

“All children deserve the benefits — and fun — of participating in physical activity.  Providing an inclusive school physical education and physical activity environment is not difficult, but it must be done purposefully.  The Partnership for Inclusive Health will provide a great network for disseminating information and tools to create Active Schools that meet the needs of students with disabilities.” – Charlene Burgeson, Executive Director of Active Schools

“At America Walks, we believe that every individual, regardless of regardless of age, ability, gender, sexual orientation or economic status has the right to walk and be physically active. The Partnership for Inclusive Health is an important step in creating communities where everyone can be healthy and active.” – Kate Kraft, Executive Director, America Walks

“Chronic diseases do discriminate against people with disabilities, and with nearly one in five Americans living with a disability, it is incumbent on public health officials to help ensure that everyone in our communities has the opportunity to lead a healthier, more productive life. As an early adopter of the Inclusive Fitness Coalition, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors is proud to join the new Partnership for Inclusive Health to continue our work supporting all people in every state and territory in the fight against chronic disease.” – John Robitscher, MPH, CEO of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors

As IHRSA and the IHRSA Foundation work with health clubs to provide programming and services to people living with disability, we are honored to work alongside our Global UFIT partners led by the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive Fitness and now our Partnership for Inclusive Health partners to achieve a common goal of helping people of all abilities live longer, healthier and more active lives.” – Amy Bantham, VP of Health Promotion and Health Policy, IHRSA and IHRSA Foundation

“The American Heart Association is committed to ensuring that all people have access to safe places to be physically active regardless of ability. We work across coalitions and communities to advocate for inclusive policies. Our staff are trained to develop accessible programs and education for health and well-being. In everything we do, we strive to meet people where they are, and we are pleased to join the Partnership for Inclusive Health to increase our own ability to deliver on our commitment.”  – Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association

View the Partnership for Inclusive Health online at committoinclusion.org/inclusivehealth.

Media Contact:                                                                                             

Paul T. Branks
401 West Michigan Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3233
(317) 637-9200 ext. 127


Aquila Welcomes New Clients in 2017, Increases Revenue & Launches a New, Revamped Web Site

Miami, FL -- May 9, 2017
Aquila, a full service national and international on-site health & well-being management company welcomed Norwegian Cruise Lines, United Health Care, Hertz, CBRE, and a dozen of new clients in the 1st Quarter of 2017. The mix of new clients added a diverse portfolio to Aquila's existing customer base where the company is providing on-site fitness center & well-being services.
The Company also announced 25.10% increase in revenue for 2016. Aquila continues the growth path from 2015 when the Company was selected among INC 5000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. with a 3-year growth rate of 68%. This brings the overall 4-year growth rate to 93.10%.
"We are excited about continued changes in 2017!" said Yvan Miklin, President & CEO of Aquila. "The 4-year growth rate of 93.10% has been simply amazing and is a direct result of our employee's hard work, our dedication to our customers, and our innovative approaches in the health & fitness arena. We are looking forward to bringing our solutions to more people in 2017."
To fine-tune its digitally-led communication strategies in 2017, Aquila launched newly revamped web site on May 8th 2017. The new and completely redesigned website offers visitors detailed insight into the Company's history, essential information on Aquila's services, selected case studies, and exciting growth prospects. The website has a clean and modern design, improved functionality, and is focused on the Company's mission to deliver on-site health & fitness engagement services that have a lasting impact. The new web site is located at the same address: www.aquilaltd.com

VertiMax, World Leader in Sports Performance, Functional and Rehabilitative Training Systems, Set to Expand Globally

This release was provided to IHRSA by VertiMax

Tampa Florida, May 8, 2017 - VertiMax, a world leader in sports performance, functional and rehabilitative training systems, announced that it concluded a capital raise and has entered into a strategic relationship with Vedere Ventures. The investment, led by Vedere Ventures and with participation from other global fitness industry leaders will fuel VertiMax’s continued expansion as a market leader for developing and delivering cutting-edge sports performance, rehabilitation, and fitness training solutions.

“VertiMax’s cutting edge fitness technology has been adopted by many of the top athletes in the world including Olympians, and leading athletes in Basketball, Football, and Soccer among other sports,” - Bryan O’Rourke

VertiMax, a world leader in sports performance, functional and rehabilitative training systems, announced that it concluded a capital raise and has entered into a strategic relationship with Vedere Ventures. The investment, led by Vedere Ventures and with participation from other global fitness industry leaders will fuel VertiMax’s continued expansion as a market leader in developing and delivering cutting edge sports performance, rehabilitation and fitness training solutions.

“We’ve had an exceptional realization of growth initiatives executed in the past and bringing in capital and expertise will only help build the relevance of our technologies and solutions even more,” said Michael Wehrell, Chief Executive Officer and founder of VertiMax. “The timing was right to raise growth capital and accelerate the deployment of our products and solutions with the help of some people with experience and great track records.”

The investment comes on the heels of rapid growth at VertiMax. The addition of experienced leadership including fitness industry veterans Robert Dyer, Bryan O’Rourke and Maureen O’Rourke, founders of Fitness Marketing Systems, “Fitmarc” and their portfolio of other companies which are set to support expanding the VertiMax platform globally.

“VertiMax’s cutting edge fitness technology has been adopted by many of the top athletes in the world including Olympians, and leading athletes in Basketball, Football, and Soccer among other sports,” said Bryan O’Rourke, principal in Vedere Ventures. “We see VertiMax having applications in a variety of vertical markets as well. This technology offers a wide range of possibilities and can improve anyone’s performance; from a young athlete to a professional and beyond.”

Thousands of U.S. high schools and 80% of D1 universities utilize VertiMax technologies and platforms including their portable Raptor product. Over 40% of professional US sports teams like the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, among others, utilize the technology extensively. The product is distributed globally and has a strong following among some of the very best sports performance and fitness trainers in the world.

Professional basketball player Karl Anthony Towns, center for the Minnesota Timberwolves had this to say, “VertiMax raises my vertical. It helps me jump higher and more explosively.”

About VertiMax

VertiMax provides sports, functional and rehabilitative training solutions to fitness facilities, training centers, high school and college athletic programs. Product versatility expands use to students and professional athletes at home or on the field. To learn more visit http://www.VertiMax.com or follow @VertiMax on major social networks. 


Gold’s Gym Experiences Strong First Quarter With Domestic And International Growth

World’s Most Iconic Fitness Brand On Track To Open Over 45 New Gyms By End Of Year

May 03, 2017 // Franchising.com // DALLAS - Gold’s Gym, the world’s trusted authority on health and fitness, announced today that during the first quarter of 2017, it signed franchise agreements to open nine gyms in the U.S., with 23 additional locations currently under development in 12 countries internationally. These signings expand the brand’s presence in new and existing markets across the world, including Tennessee, New York, California, and in nations such as Egypt and Australia. Gold’s Gym also opened 17 new locations both domestically and internationally, resulting in a total of 737 open gyms at the end of the first quarter.

“2017 is off to a strong start as we continue to focus on expansion, innovation and delivering a one-of-a-kind member experience across the globe,” said Brandon Bean, CEO of Gold’s Gym. “Franchisees continue to be attracted to our state-of-the art facilities, experienced support team and strong brand recognition around the world as the best fitness experience in the business.”

These signings and openings are a continuation of Gold’s Gym’s aggressive expansion plans, with the fitness brand on track to open over 45 new gyms by end of year. Most recently, Gold’s Gym opened its first location in Rabat, Morocco and debuted a flagship location in Amman, Jordan, which is the largest Gold’s Gym in the world at 140,000 square feet.

Always at the forefront of the fitness revolution, Gold’s Gym recently debuted its GOLD’S STUDIO offerings. This unique concept allows members to experience coach led, community driven and individually adapted boutique-style classes like GOLD’SFIT™, GOLD’SCYCLE™, and GOLD’SBURN™ while continuing to enjoy the full-service gym amenities of Gold’s Gym. Currently available in 40 locations, the company plans to invest heavily in developing additional GOLD’S STUDIOS over the next 18 months and will incorporate the prototype at select new locations moving forward.

Founded in 1965 in Venice, California, Gold’s Gym now has nearly 740 locations in 38 states and 26 countries around the world. Its profile has evolved to offer a state-of-the-art fitness experience that includes the best personal training and group exercise classes in the business.

Ideal candidates for Gold’s Gym franchise ownership have a passion for the fitness industry and are looking to tap into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Opportunities are available all over the U.S. and around the world and the company boasts an experienced support team to help franchisees build and grow their business from the ground up. Franchising with Gold’s Gym offers a unique opportunity to join the $84 billion global fitness industry with one of the strongest and most recognized brands in the world. For more information on franchise opportunities, visit franchising.goldsgym.com.

About Gold’s Gym

Gold’s Gym has been the world’s trusted fitness authority since 1965. From its humble beginnings as a small gym in Venice, California, Gold’s Gym has grown into a global icon with nearly 740 locations serving 3 million people across six continents each day. Featuring personalized transformation plans, state of the art equipment, certified personal trainers, a diverse group exercise program and a supportive, motivating environment, Gold’s Gym delivers the most dynamic fitness experience in the industry. The Gold’s Gym experience recently expanded to include GOLD’S STUDIO™ - which gives members access to boutique-style classes like GOLD’SFIT™, GOLD’SCYCLE™ and GOLD’SBURN™…all under the same roof. More than a gym, Gold’s Gym combines coaching, community and more than 50 years of fitness expertise to help people around the world achieve their potential through fitness.

For more information, please visit www.goldsgym.com, www.goldsstudio.com, www.facebook.com/goldsgym or www.twitter.com/goldsgym.


Playven Joins Tennis Industry Association As a SaaS Technology Business Partner

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (May 3, 2017) — To help tennis providers manage and grow their businesses, the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) is identifying viable technology development companies that offer “software as a service” (SaaS). The newest partnership is with Playven, which is a unique online tennis court marketplace and club management tool that helps tennis providers reach more players and grow their business. Using the Playven app, tennis players can easily find and book the nearest available courts at any facility.

“We felt that finding and booking tennis courts was too difficult, so we benchmarked best practices from other industries to make it easier for people to play more tennis and for clubs to reach more players,” says Playven CEO and Co-Founder Topias Soininen. “Golfers already book tee times and diners book restaurants on marketplace apps, so we knew the tennis industry needs this as well. We’re now rapidly expanding the number of clubs on our marketplace.”

"The software as a service industry has been growing at a very rapid pace," says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “In tennis, there are now many companies that offer business solutions, including software platforms designed for tennis providers and facilities. Our goal and opportunity is to research and highlight these companies and services so facilities and providers can determine which of these best fit their needs to improve their operations and their members’ experiences, while saving them time and money in the process.”

Approved TIA SaaS Business Partners, such as Playven, will become part of the family of TIA Recommended Software and Business Solutions, and also receive membership benefits and services to help the facilities, retailers and providers using their specific technology product. The TIA maintains a network of thousands of facilities, retailers and tennis businesses that can utilize SaaS products in their daily operations.

For more information, contact TIA Business Manager Brian O’Donnell at (843) 473-4504 or brian@tennisindustry.org. To learn more about Playven, visit playven.com or contact the CEO & Co-Founder Topias Soininen at Topias@playven.com or 415-465-2377.


About Playven
Playven is a Silicon Valley-based technology company founded by two Finnish entrepreneurs building a tennis court marketplace app and club management tool. Playven’s mission is to elevate the tennis industry by innovating new technologies and benchmarking from the best in other industries. Former ATP No. 13 Jarkko Nieminen is one of the investors and advisors of the company, alongside investors of OpenTable, AirBnB, Slack and Trulia. Visit Playven.com.

About the TIA
The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of the business of tennis by working closely with its industry partners and in support of the USTA in their development of initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 U.S. and global research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, managing the largest relational database, along with hosting annual TIA Tennis Forum, Leadership meetings and the T.O.M. Conference at major tournaments and events. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.

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