September 9th marks the beginning of the 2015 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit. Executives from all corners of the sports and fitness industries will come together in New Orleans’s historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel to connect over two days of networking opportunities, and seminar talks from notable industry innovators and corporate figures. During this time, SFIA will recognize some of the industry’s best up-and-coming executives that make up the 2015 class of SFIA’s Future Industry Leaders Scholarship program. These executives have displayed a potential to lead the industry forward for years to come through their executive talent, and vision for the future.
SFIAinsider, in collaboration with the SFIA Weekly Newsletter, will be posting profiles of each of the five winners of this year’s competition. Winners will be recognized for their achievement during ILS. In this edition, meet Richelle Smith, apparel product manager at Champro Sports.
Swimming for fitness is quickly growing in popularity in the United States among all people, young and old. According to SFIA’s “Topline” report, which summarizes and evaluates data on levels of activity within the United States, Swimming for Fitness has experienced growth in total, casual, and core levels of participation. Total participation, which encompasses anyone who has actively swam for fitness at least once in the previous year, rose from approximately 21,517,000 participants in 2011 to 23,216,000 participants in 2012, an impressive 7.9 percent increase in participation. This 1.7 million increase in participants is the largest increase out of all the sports that SFIA covers for 2012. Casual participation measures persons who have swum at least once but less than 49 times in the previous year. Casual participation rates showed 7.6 percent growth from 2011 to 2012, an increase from approximately 14,065,000 participants to 15,139,000 participants. The transition from casual to core participants highlights those truly dedicated to the sport. Core participants are those who have swam for fitness 50 or more times in the previous year. In 2011, approximately 7,453,000 people swam as a means of physical exercise, and in 2012 the number rose to 8,077,000, which marks an 8.4 percent increase in participation.