GILBERT, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#afaa–The worldwide leaders in fitness certifications, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), announced the recipient of the first Spirit of Fitness Award during their annual Optima Fitness and Wellness Conference. The honor recognizes those who bring fitness to the global community and help build a healthier and happier world.
Laurie McCartney, President of Global Fitness & Wellness Solutions for Ascend Learning, the parent company of NASM and AFAA, presented the award to the ZUMBA® and STRONG Nation™ communities as part of Optima’s welcome keynote address. In addition to spreading the joy of fitness around the world, ZUMBA’s network of instructors and loyal participants are actively involved in a wide range of outreach campaigns. This year alone, ZUMBA partnered with The Global FoodBanking Network to deliver over one million free meals to families impacted by COVID-19. ZUMBA has raised over $5.7M to support important causes like the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Augie’s Quest for the cure of ALS.
“At NASM and AFAA, we believe these challenging times present opportunities for all of us to rise to the occasion and demonstrate the best aspects of our humanity,” McCartney said to the virtual Optima attendees. “The ZUMBA and STRONG Nation communities truly exemplify that spirit, and we are proud to honor them with this award.”
Alberto Perlman, CEO and Co-Founder of ZUMBA, accepted the award on behalf of the entire ZUMBA and STRONG Nation communities. “When stay-at-home orders were first put into effect in March, we made it our mission to keep people moving, not only for a physical release but as a way to help with the stress and anxiety due to the Pandemic,” said Perlman. “Our incredible instructors around the world never missed a beat, learning the ins and outs of technology so they could deliver amazing virtual classes, and eventually teaching outdoor classes to keep their communities moving and connected, continuing to create joy in a time where we all have needed it the most.”
Founded in 2001, ZUMBA blends contagious world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography for an effective workout that empowers participants to become their best selves – mind, body and soul. Today, ZUMBA serves more than 15 million participants in 186 countries. STRONG Nation is a music-led, high-intensity training exercise class that combines bodyweight, muscle conditioning, cardio, and plyometric training moves. Zumba launched this program only four years ago and it already has a presence in 160 countries, serving 750,000 participants each week.
As part of the Spirit of Fitness award, NASM and AFAA will provide 20 scholarships that ZUMBA will share with its instructors to support their commitment to continuing education.
About NASM: Now in its 33rd year, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has remained the international standard in fitness education due to the high quality of fitness professionals they produce and their programs’ scientific rigor. NASM offers a best in class Certified Personal Training program along with major specializations in Nutrition Coaching (CNC), Sports Performance (PES), and Corrective Exercise (CES).
About AFAA: The Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) has led the way in certifying group fitness and personal trainers for over 35 years. AFAA pioneered the first nationally standardized guidelines for fitness professionals and has educated over 350,000 instructors and trainers in 73 countries. AFAA’s Group Fitness Instructor Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the leading accreditor of certificate courses in the fitness industry.
About Zumba Fitness, LLC: Founded in 2001, Zumba® is the largest branded fitness company in the world – reporting more than 15 million weekly participants, in 200,000 locations, across 186 countries. Zumba blends contagious world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography for an effective workout that empowers participants to become their best selves – mind, body and soul. In addition to its original Zumba program, the company offers 10 Zumba specialty classes – from aquatic-based to those specifically designed for active older adults and children. In 2016, Zumba launched its first non-dance, HIIT workout STRONG Nation™, where music acts as the main motivator. The Zumba lifestyle is rounded out by the company’s many consumer product offerings, including video games, original music, activewear and footwear, and interactive Fitness-Concert™ events. For more information about Zumba’s programs and products, or to find a live or virtual class, visit zumba.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
About STRONG Nation: STRONG Nation™ is a music-led, high-intensity training exercise class that combines bodyweight, muscle conditioning, cardio, and plyometric training moves. The routines were created first and then music was reverse-engineered to match every move perfectly, for a unique workout experience that pushes you past your perceived limits. This new concept, which emphasizes music is the main motivator, allows you to burn more calories while toning abs, legs, arms, and glutes. The STRONG Nation workout is complemented by athletic apparel and footwear. Instructors can opt to receive exclusive music, routines, marketing materials, and support by joining SYNC, the STRONG Nation Network. For more information and to find an in-person or virtual class, visit strongnation.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
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