The fitness and physical activity sector’s trade associations collaborated closely during the pandemic to overcome the subsequent societal and economic impacts by promoting and protecting the interests of the industry. In this context, based on the explicit support of its 29 national fitness association partners who have identified the need to establish a global forum for the sector’s representative associations, EuropeActive has contributed to laying the foundations of the World Active Forum (WAF).
Worldwide national and continental trade associations leaders, together with heads of professional registers, were invited to set up a transparent and equitable representation of the fitness and physical activity sector, based on the common goal to reposition the industry as a recognised societal solution for public health and wellbeing.
An inaugural meeting, held on 20 June 2022, laid down the foundations of a global sectoral platform where members agreed to share, collaborate and support each other, in their efforts to serve the industry in its recovery and future growth. WAF members convened to proceed with regular meetings, on a monthly basis, in order to keep the momentum, but also to increase collaboration with the World Health Organization and other global international organisations. In order to achieve such ambitious goals, it was decided that this new initiative would be build on the highest level of accountability, openness and transparency. Therefore, the core idea of the WAF is to ensure equal representation and rotation of leadership positions.
Barrie Elvish, the CEO of AUSactive, was appointed by his peers as interim WAF Chair. He will be supported in his tasks by an interim Secretariat, held on a temporary basis by EuropeActive, but also by two Vice-Chairs and a Steering group. The WAF will also be composed of a Governance sub-Working group, which will be in charge of reporting directly to the Steering Group, as well as four Working groups (on Research & Social Impact; Gender-Equality & Inclusion; Public Affairs; Skills & Workforce). The WAF structure is built on a meritocratic basis, bringing together the best and brightest minds from the industry, but it will also be based on geographical balance and gender inclusion.
All the stakeholders involved in this global platform will be focused on preparing for the World Active Summit, scheduled in April 2023, during FIBO Global Fitness, as well as on setting the ground for a global, inclusive and transparent World Active Federation.