In May 2017, Mark Zuckerberg, brother of IHRSA 2016 hit keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg, gave a commencement speech to Harvard University graduates that received a great deal of attention.
Why? Well, Zuckerberg—as Facebook founder and CEO—is also one of Harvard’s most famous dropouts. In his speech, he urged these new graduates to “commit their lives to a purpose greater than themselves.”
This “greater purpose” is visible in the health club industry. Not only do so many of you embrace a career—or rather a calling—of bringing health and fitness to your communities, but hundreds—if not thousands—of you have lifted your heads up beyond your communities and your businesses.
Your Fitness Calling Is What We Call 'Industry Leadership'
Off the top of my head, I can think of eight examples of fitness industry leadership to make my case:
- Hundreds of U.S. IHRSA members convinced their representatives in Congress to sign on and pass the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act in the 115th House. PHIT would make physical activity and youth sports more affordable. Does your Congressperson support the PHIT Act?
- Anastasia Yusina, president of Strata Fitness Holding and FITSPACE Boutique Fitness Studios, successfully convinced Russia to remove the tax on health club memberships. Yes, Russia!
- During his first four years on the IHRSA Board of Directors, Jim Worthington of the Newtown Athletic Club, personally contacted hundreds of club operators across the U.S., successfully increasing the Industry Leadership Council (ILC) from 59 members to over 150.
- Mark Durall of the Olympic Club, contacted every club operator in Washington state to explain and help stop a permitting bill that would have drastically harmed club operations and cost Washington clubs thousands.
- IHRSA Board Member Monica Marques of Companhia Athletica in Brazil is representing IHRSA in development meetings on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The plan’s goal is a 15% relative reduction in global physical inactivity by 2030.
- Speaking of 2030, during IHRSA 2018, then-IHRSA Board Chair Derek Gallup issued an industry challenge to grow global health club membership from 162 million members to 230 million members by 2030.
- Seven club companies—acac, the Newtown Athletic Club, The Atlantic Club, Club Fit Briarcliff, GymPlus, Courtown, and Westpark Fitness—representing 16 clubs in the U.S. and Ireland, are the first club operators to offer Universal Fitness Innovation and Transformation (UFIT) pilot programs in support of UFIT and the IHRSA Foundation.
- Hundreds of club operators and industry professionals share their hard-earned knowledge, ideas, and keys to success as speakers at IHRSA Conventions, webinars, and industry events.