Universal Fitness Innovation & Transformation (UFIT) is a global social change movement, led by the UNESCO Chair in the Institute of Technology Tralee & IHRSA.
UFIT aims to increase fitness opportunities for people with disabilities by connecting fitness clubs and centres; with local disability service providers and groups; and allied professionals guiding the process in a client-centred and bespoke manner while taking the fitness management and staff through an inclusive journey that builds their skills, knowledge and competency to facilitate the inclusion of all in their service offerings and operations.
UFIT was launched in Marseille, France, on October 19th, 2015, in association with IHRSA’s 15th Annual European Congress and at this launch, it was agreed that the Marseille Declaration would follow as an instrument to drive support for inclusion in the Fitness Sector.
UFIT has been very well received by leaders in the fitness sector and a USA Taskforce has been established with key representatives of the fitness sector. The USA Taskforce is committed to incentivizing and increasing the UniversAbility© of the sector. UFIT USA is now underway with 6 large IHRSA member Clubs participating in the Pilot. This has been made possible due to the support and resources from the UNESCO Chair and IHRSA leading Globally with the IHRSA Foundation leading in the USA and substantial financial and human resources from ACE plus resource support from our other key USA UFIT task force members including ACSM, NCHPAD, USREPS/ CREP, Special Olympics International and USA, NCPPA and the National Fitness Foundation.
UFIT is also present in Ireland, Spain and Perú, with their respective UFIT Taskforces.
The Canadian launch occurred at the World Fitness Expo in 2017.
The Canadian Task Force currently includes the following members:
UNESCO Chair, IHRSA, Fitness Industry Council Canada, Special Olympics Canada, canfitpro, Fitness Business Canada, and ICAA-International Council for Active Ageing.
The UFIT Taskforce is an intersectoral partnership that aims to:
- Provide knowledge and expertise regarding the national fitness industry.
- Adapt the UFIT movement to the national context where it will be implemented.
- Promote an inclusive vision in the fitness industry.
- Facilitate the development of capacities in fitness professionals in order to increase the participation of people with disabilities.
- Advocate for an inclusive approach as a way to enhance customer care and service provision for all.