The 2008 fitness convention, organised by the Sport Science Institute of South Africa (SSI) in association with various industry partners, was dubbed a great success by organisers and conference-goers alike.
This is the fifth year the SSI, with the support of Discovery Health and other industry partners, has successfully delivered a Fitness Convention in South Africa.
"We had around 600 delegates over the full three days," said organiser Lee Crumpton. They came from the health, fitness and sports industries, supplemented by interested members of the general public, and those looking to enter the industry.
The SSI, Discovery Vitality and all the sponsors were extremely satisfied with the success of the event, said the organisers. "The end of the convention was met with much positive feedback from all involved. The overall impression is that the convention is getting bigger and better, including the quality of presentations, level of participation and opportunity for the fitness trade to provide the support that the industry needs".
Said Morne du Plessis, CEO of the SSI: "Part of our mission at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa is to disseminate scientifically credible information to all South Africans with the intention of improving their health and sporting performance. This year’s convention was another milestone for the institute in complementing our mission and objectives."
The line-up of high-profile speakers included:
- Prof Tim Noakes: World-renowned professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town. He has run more than 70 marathons and ultra marathons, and is the author of the running book Lore of Running.
- Richard Beddie: The CEO for Fitness New Zealand, the industry association representing the health & fitness industry in his home country.
- Deshun Deysel: Achieved national prominence as the first black female high altitude mountaineer in the world. She has climbed some of the world’s most challenging peaks and is currently embarking on the "7 Summits" programme to climb the highest mountain peak on each continent.
- Jake White: Former Springbok coach who was also named IRB Coach of the Year. White's rise to the top job in SA Rugby was a journey of intense determination to succeed against all odds. In so doing, he became the first man to coach the Springboks for four successive seasons.
- Lewis Pugh: In July 2007 Pugh became the first person to complete a long-distance swim at the geographic North Pole. The 1km swim, in a water temperature of -1.7ºC, took 18 minutes and 50 seconds to complete. In 20 years, Lewis Pugh has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history.
The 2008 convention also included a high-level coaching symposium with coaches presenting on various aspects related to training athletes and sports teams. Aside from the coaching symposium, the 5th Discovery Vitality Fitness Convention also delivered practical and theory-based presentations in its Group Training Summit, Personal Training Track, Research Track and Business and Entrepreneurship Track. The convention also included an industry tradeshow showcasing suppliers, services and products.
(Wilma Stassen, Health24, March 2008)