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FIT Summit sees a stronger fitness industry emerging from pandemic

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Dec 07, 2021 5:00 am

Ross Campbell had a clear vision in 2018 when he established FIT Summit. He wanted a dynamic network of business leaders from various sectors of the health, fitness and wellness community.

Little did he know that what he started, which eventually had to go virtual for most of the last two years, would become a springboard for a lot of collaboration and unity among business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tireless in his efforts to connect people in order to create impact and positive change, he is humbled by how small gestures created big ripples.

“COVID-19 has increased the awareness and importance of health and well-being,” the FIT Summit founder and CEO says.

Brothers in fitness: Ross and Blair (left), during a visit to Bali. Touring gyms is always a source of fun, friendship and inspiration for both.

“We have the opportunity to now transform billions of people into long-term health consumers. This opportunity has not come without sacrifice and we must pay tribute and remember all those who made it possible, from those that lost their lives, to those who put their lives on the line,” especially frontline healthcare staff and emergency responders who carried the baton so selflessly throughout this pandemic.

“Much has been made recently of the challenges that climate change and global warming present to our species, and yet, equally daunting and devastating are the rising rates of obesity and preventable disease. Climate change is real, its effects are now being felt but why do we not address the biggest killer of our species, preventable disease?” he adds.

FIT Summit founder and CEO Ross Campbell with Sean Tan, co-founder and president of the Singapore Fitness Alliance connect people and organizations to ensure more opportunities for fitness professionals as they serve the growing global need for health and fitness.

“Until COP26 (2021 UN Climate Change Conference) this year, governments frustratingly and unfathomably still squabbled over what preventative measures can be taken over climate change. Yet throughout the pandemic and to this day, they still inadequately address health promotion. Why? This narrative needs to change. If handled correctly, if new investments are made in health promotion and disease prevention, this pandemic could save a hundredfold more lives than the deaths it has caused,” Ross added.

“Positively, as an industry, we find ourselves united through this pandemic. Stronger than ever before. Standing beside each other rather than trampling over each other. We recognize our common goal, our desired destination—improved health and wellbeing for all.

“Throughout this pandemic, I remain in absolute awe of industry professionals, practitioners and investors who have sacrificed short-term gains to focus on this long-term goal. Let us continue to stride forward as one industry, relentlessly passionate, with gratitude, with empathy and with an unquestionable belief that together we can truly make an incredible difference to our world,” he enthused.

Fitness movers all: FIT Summit CEO/founder Ross Campbell, Yoga Movement co-founder Peter Thew, TRUE Fitness director Sean Tan and Ritual Gym CEO Brad Robinson

Blair Campbell, head of Industry Development for FIT Summit, crunched some numbers.

“The Asia-Pacific region is composed of over 55 countries, with a combined population of 4.3 billion, accounting for 60 percent of the world’s population and remains the world’s fastest growing region in terms of GDP growth. The ongoing pandemic/endemic hit the region hard but did accelerate health and wellbeing to become an imperative priority to every country and demographic. The Global Wellness Institute estimates the global wellness economy to be worth $4.5 trillion with APAC showing the largest growth year-to-year, soon far exceeding the Americas as the largest market,” he explained.

To help the industry, FIT Summit has published the 2021 Asia-Pacific Health, Fitness & Wellness Industry Report.

“In this report we provide you with a unique and detailed insight into APAC and its most influential and successful brands. We’ve created a collection of trends, insights, perspectives, investments headlines, news and statistics, highlighting the electrifying future for the region’s health, fitness and wellness industry,” Blair said.

“We are immensely grateful to our wonderful Leadership Circle partners, each a leading innovator and championing excellence across the region. This report would not be possible without their input and the input of all who contributed insight, data and analysis. Across 2020 and 2021, we’ve endured the harshest business environment ever encountered. Amongst the endless human tragedy, the business world suffered tens of thousands of job losses and thousands of business closures,” Blair added.

“We stand here today, stronger and wiser, as a result of so many incredible colleagues and partners, who sacrificed so much to ensure the survival of our businesses and brands. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. This pandemic has immeasurably tested our resolve, resilience and faith, but together we now stand and we can move our industry forward onto greater heights, new frontiers and to new customers. FIT Summit is proud to stand, hand-in-hand, beside each of you, to make this incredible world, happier and healthier than it has ever been,” he concluded.

Visit www.thefitsummit.com to buy a copy of the report or to join the networking events.