In Recognition of Veteran’s Day, Fitness Clubs Provide Free Health Club Memberships to Military Families as part of Joining Forces and Let’s Move! Initiatives

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As Veteran’s Day approaches, a day in which all Americans celebrate and remember the men and women who have protected and defended our nation through military service, IHRSA, the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association is pleased to announce that over 1,000 health, fitness and sports clubs across the United States are providing complimentary 6-month memberships to military families through the IHRSA Joining Forces Network.

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We hope thousands of families will benefit and enjoy the health and wellness services our member clubs can uniquely offer,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA President and CEO.

As Veteran’s Day approaches, a day in which all Americans celebrate and remember the men and women who have protected and defended our nation through military service, IHRSA, the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association is pleased to announce that over 1,000 health, fitness and sports clubs across the United States are providing complimentary 6-month memberships to military families through the IHRSA Joining Forces Network.

Six months ago, in conjunction with the Joining Forces initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition invited IHRSA to engage the fitness industry to support military families throughout the country. Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. The invitation grew into a great opportunity for the thousands of health clubs in the IHRSA family to “join forces” with the White House and Department of Defense to support our nation’s troops.

Today, through the IHRSA Joining Forces Network, fitness facilities from coast to coast have responded to the call and are providing free memberships to the immediate family members of actively deployed Reservists and National Guard members. Eligible family members are invited to locate or recommend participating clubs in their area at http://www.healthclubs.com.

Since the Network was introduced in May, a large and diverse set of clubs -- large, small, urban, and rural -- have enrolled. “When I heard about this program, I joined the cause immediately because it spoke to my heart” said Roberta Kruse-Fordham, CEO of Sports, Fitness & Fun, an independent club in Florida, New York. “Our staff is so proud to be able to give back to the families of these courageous Americans in such a unique and beneficial way” added Kruse-Fordham whose son T.J. Palovchik, is a deployed member of the U.S. Navy.

While many IHRSA members have long-shown continued support through complimentary or reduced memberships and services to the members of the military and their families, the IHRSA Joining Forces Network now represents the first time that the entire industry has united in a coordinated effort on behalf of our nation’s military families.

“Through the IHRSA Joining Forces Network, and the health club industry’s united support and recognition for our country’s Reservists and National Guard members, we hope thousands of families will benefit and enjoy the health and wellness services our member clubs can uniquely offer,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA President and CEO.

The IHRSA Joining Forces Network hopes to offer at least 100,000 free health club memberships throughout the country—the equivalent of more than 18 million days of free access to health clubs and an estimated value of more than $30 million.

IHRSA recognizes and thanks every one of the Joining Forces Network members, not only for their willingness to make a difference, but also for their ability to make a difference. "The freedoms that each of us enjoys every day are possible because of the sacrifices that our nation's military families bear," said Moore. “In communities all across America, health clubs stand ready to offer them safe, supportive environments where they can exercise and find encouragement. We are deeply honored to be part of the Joining Forces and Let’s Move! initiatives”.

Veterans Day honors the commitment, contributions, and sacrifices of all the men and women who have served in America’s armed forces, and so, too, does the IHRSA Joining Forces Network.

About IHRSA
IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America's health and the battle against obesity and disease. IHRSA supports affective national initiatives to promote more active lifestyles for all Americans and is working to pass laws that will help affect societal changes toward a healthier, more prosperous America. Find an IHRSA club at http://www.healthclubs.com.

IHRSA is a co-chair of the Business and Industry Sector of the National Physical Activity Plan; a member of the advisory board of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD); a founding member of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA); a network member of the Exercise is Medicine™ initiative; contributed to the success of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition’s Million PALA Challenge; and was one of the earliest proponents of the PEP legislation (Carol M. White Physical Education Program). Through its member clubs, IHRSA has offered community outreach and health promotion programs since 1986, including Commit to Get Fit, Families Involved Together, Teen Fitness Connection, I Lost It at the Club!, Get Active America! and The IHRSA Joining Forces Network.

What is the IHRSA Joining Forces Network?
The IHRSA Joining Forces Network is an IHRSA initiative in support of Joining Forces that provides free health club memberships to immediate family members of deployed reservists and National Guard members. Information for eligible family members can be found at http://www.healthclubs.com/joining-forces-eligible-family. Health club operators can enroll or learn more at http://www.ihrsa.org/joining-forces-network.

What is Let’s Move!?
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

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Meredith Poppler
IHRSA
(617) 951-0055 x129
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