BOSTON, MA—November 26, 2019—The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) announced today the publication of a new children’s book, entitled Active Cat Around the World, sponsored by Gympass.

Active Cat Around the World teaches kids that there are fitness activities in every country that are fun to do,” said Joe Moore, president and CEO of IHRSA. “Released in time for the holiday season, it’s sure to make a unique educational gift for children worldwide.”

“Gympass is committed to defeating global inactivity and proudly supports IHRSA and Active Cat Around the World in this effort,” says Marco Crespo, CEO of Gympass, USA. “As a father of two young children, I know the impact that a book like this can have in encouraging children to be active and I can’t wait to read it to my kids!”

The release of Active Cat Around the World is timely. A recent study by the World Health Organization states that a majority of adolescents worldwide are not sufficiently physically active, putting their current and future health at risk.

Written by Jay Ablondi and Jim Schmaltz, and illustrated by Stan Tran, Active Cat Around the World playfully showcases Active Cat traveling the world in search of fun sports to play and meeting new friends along the way.

“Our goal is to promote physical activity for kids of all ages as well as learning about different cultures and countries,” says Ablondi, a father of two daughters, ages 6 and 9. “My girls provided plenty of input on Active Cat and his adventures, so this book is not only kid-tested, but peer-reviewed!”

Stan Tran’s Out of Shape cartoon appears monthly in IHRSA’s Club Business International (CBI) magazine. Ablondi is the executive vice president of global products for IHRSA. Jim Schmaltz is a senior editor at IHRSA. Samantha Cuozzo designed the publication.

Active Cat Around the World is the second collaboration from the creative team of Ablondi, Schmaltz, Tran and Cuozzo. In 2014, IHRSA published Active from A to Z, an alphabet learning book that illustrates animals being active, such as frogs playing Frisbee and kangaroos kickboxing – even a mythical unicorn riding a unicycle, combined with fun facts. Both publications are available on and


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. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and fitness promotion. For more information, visit Find an IHRSA club at

About Gympass

On a mission to defeat inactivity, Gympass is a transformational corporate wellness solution that builds mutually beneficial relationships between gyms and companies to help employees get active and healthy. Across 14 countries, Gympass partners with over 2,000 corporations to craft ongoing, personalized programs that inspire employees to enroll, stay motivated, and get active. To learn more, visit