World Active Forum Created to Enhance Collaboration Among Industry Groups

Regional and national associations representing the health club industry have come together to create the World Active Forum (WAF), according to an announcement from the organization.

The group, which was officially formed on June 20 during a virtual meeting of constituent industry association leaders, aims to connect fitness industry associations worldwide and provide the fitness and physical activity sector with a unified voice at the global level.

Twenty-nine European associations initiated the group and were joined by 18 associations outside of Europe. Representing the United States are the Fitness Business Association and the Medical Fitness Association. EuropeActive and ukactive represent Europe.

The WAF will be a formalized global meeting place and a future collective representative body for national and regional fitness industry associations from all continents.

WAF members will meet virtually every month until the World Active Summit in April 2023, which will be the first physical gathering of WAF to be followed by similar annual gatherings around the globe, in conjunction with trade shows and other significant industry events.

WAF members will establish a steering group and several working groups, covering topics from skills and workforce, data collection and research, public affairs, and a commercial stakeholder advisory group, which will allow for the involvement of industry experts from all continents.

The next meeting on Aug. 16 will include a presentation by Dr. Fiona Bull, head of the World Health Organization’s Physical Activity Unit. She will share her perspective on the role of the fitness and physical activity sector as part of the solution to common public health challenges, and about the need for global collaboration in that regard.

The group elected Barrie Elvish, AUSactive’s CEO and a founding member of WAF, as the first chair of the WAF. The secretariat function will be performed by EuropeActive. The members of WAF agreed on the principle that the chair and secretariat functions of the WAF will rotate between its members on an annual basis.

The group’s mission and slogan is “More people, more active, more often.”

More information about the group can be solicited by emailing [email protected].