IHRSA, ACE, Michelle Obama Announce Military Initiative

Along with first lady Michelle Obama, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) announced free health club memberships and fitness training services to military personnel and their families.

The announcement, part of Mrs. Obama’s Joining Forces and Let’s Move initiatives, came Monday on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC. IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore and ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune were on hand at Monday’s press conference.

“As I’ve been told, they got a call and this request was put in and they jumped on it,” Mrs. Obama said Monday. “This has been the reaction of the country. People want to make sure our kids are healthy. They just need to know how. They want to know how they can plug in. So everyone is stepping up in a way that is profound. So, Joe and Scott, we are truly grateful for this leadership. And this is the kind of leadership we want to see from sports legends and sports organizations and food manufacturers and restaurant owners and chefs, and you name it—everybody can step up and help out on this effort.”

Mrs. Obama launched the Let’s Move! initiative last year. She and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, recently launched the Joining Forces initiative.

The IHRSA and ACE campaigns are offered to immediate family members of actively deployed military reservists and National Guard members. The IHRSA Joining Forces Network aims to offer at least 100,000 free health club memberships throughout the country, equal to more than 18 million days of free access to health clubs, a value of more than $30 million, according to IHRSA. Beginning June 1, eligible military families can find participating clubs in their area at www.healthclubs.com/joiningforces.

“The freedoms that each of us enjoys every day are possible because of the sacrifices that our nation’s military families bear,” Moore said in a statement. “Joining Forces offers us an opportunity to provide these families with the support they are due.”

Also beginning June 1, service members and their families can take advantage of this effort and find participating fitness instructors at www.acefitness.org/joiningforces. ACE is offering at least 1 million hours of free fitness training services.

“The American Council on Exercise has always, and will always, proudly support our servicemen and women as well as their families for the protection they provide and the sacrifices they make for our country,” Goudeseune said in a statement. “Through our involvement with the Joining Forces initiative and participation from our extensive network of fitness professionals and others in the industry eager to give back, we are thrilled to be able to show our gratitude to these military families and rally support on their behalf.”

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