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Second Public Statement by the World Active Forum (WAF)

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22nd September 2022

Since the official launch, on 20th June, worldwide national and continental trade association leaders, together with heads of professional registers, continued laying the foundations of the World Active Forum. Organised around monthly plenaries, the WAF members continued their active involvement in building a global representative body based on the highest level of accountability, openness and transparency. In line with the objective to achieve closer collaboration with international organisations, Dr Fiona Bull, the head of the WHO’s Physical Activity Unit, exchanged her perspectives with WAF members last month. She insisted on the importance of speeding up the fight against physical inactivity and encouraged the sector to coordinate, ensure international representation for the industry, and speak with one voice.

By mid-September, following an internal process of consultation and nominations, the structure of the WAF was expanded. In line with the provisions of the terms of reference, every newly created sub-structure of the WAF took into account the geographical balance and gender inclusion, in order to reach ever more equitable representation. In addition, the process was intended to be meritocratic, bringing together the best and brightest minds of the industry.

  1. Subsequently, Catherine Hanson-Farid, the REPs UAE Director of Operations and Amy Boone Thompson, the CEO of IDEA, were appointed interim Vice Chairs of the WAF. The Vice Chairs will assist the interim Chair, Barrie Elvish, in leading the WAF generally towards the World Active Summit in April 2023, the monthly WAF plenary, the WAF Steering Group and the Secretariat.
  • In addition, based on the principles mentioned above, a Steering Group composed of the interim WAF Chair, the two Vice Chairs, the Secretariat and three other WAF members will be charged with major executive decisions of the WAF. All six continents (except Antarctica) will be equally represented within the Steering Group.
  • Furthermore, a Governance Sub-Working Group, which will report directly to the Steering Group, will be responsible for drafting the Charter of the World Active Federation, expected to be launched in April 2023.
  • Additionally, four Working Groups, focused on Research & Social Impact, Gender-Equality & Inclusion, Public Affairs, and Skills & Workforce, will prepare recommendations and set the ground for the World Active Summit in Cologne, in April 2023.
  • Missioned to get “more people, more active, more often”, and in line with its vision “to be the worldwide representative voice of the fitness and physical activity sector, working for a physically active, healthier world”, the WAF will establish its headquarters in Geneva,

Switzerland. This will reinforce the independence of the industry’s global representative organisation and strengthen its ties with important international organisations and external partners.

The World Active Forum also provides a unique opportunity to interact with external experts and debate key issues of current interest to the fitness and physical activity industry. In this regard, Simon-Kucher & Partners assessed and discussed the sectoral impact of increasing energy costs, inflation, and supply chain disruption. McKinsey & Co. will lead a conversation with the WAF’s members on ‘The Global Wellness Economy’.

In the months ahead, the World Active Forum will be focused on preparing the World Active Summit, scheduled for Thursday 13th April, during FIBO Week 2023, as well as defining the formalised truly global, inclusive and transparent World Active Federation.

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