>> IHRSA conference news: Dr. Miriam Nelson, a leading proponent of the importance of strength training for women, will speak at IHRSA. Also, Ann Rhoades, one of the five founders of Jet Blue Airways, will keynote the Seventh Annual IHRSA/Life Fitness Global Industry Summit. Rhoades, who chairs the Robert O. Anderson School of Business at the University of New Mexico, will speak on: "How People Centric Cultures Pay Big Dividends: Lessons from Great Companies." Both events start at 10:30 a.m. on Thurday, Feb. 27. Other keynote speeches include: Paul Zane Pilzer, "The Wellness Revolution" on Friday Feb. 28, sponsored by Technogym, and Pat Croce, "The Entreprenurial Spirit" on Saturday March 1, sponsored by the American Council on Exercise. The conference will be back at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more, go to www.ihrsa.org.
>> How not to treat the media: SNEWS was invited to a company dinner at the ispo show, with participants chauffeured from the ispo halls to the dinner hall. Very nicely done on-site. Unfortunately at 10:30 p.m. with temperatures hovering not much over 20 degrees and in a strange part of town, SNEWS was told, gee, we're not sure how you're getting back to your hotel. If you walk out and go left then right, you'll see the streetcars, and you can probably catch one of those. Granted, we didn't expect a limo back, but perhaps a little map or better directions, especially for a foreign media member who doesn't know the town.
>> Sports fans raised more than $20,000 during an exclusive charity auction on eBay, with proceeds benefiting P.E.4LIFE, a non-profit organization that promotes quality, daily physical education programs in America's public schools. This 10-day fund-raising effort featured signed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind experiences with teams and athletes, and 30 items that are semi-finalists in the SGMA's Sports Product of the Year Award -- all of which were donated from SGMA International's member companies.
>> When we saw an email from True Fitness starting out "Exciting News!" we were getting really, well, excited. Something about product expansions. So we popped them open to see what all the hoopla was about. Hm, PR hoopla, it seems.... What we found was three releases: One about its strength equipment (introduced last August), and two about its Stretch unit (introduced more than a year ago). Nothing really new and nothing (yawn) that exciting. But a dandy way for a slick PR machine to churn out more press releases. Thank goodness for email. No trees died for these.
>> SwimEx has introduced the SwimEx SPT Aquatic Treadmill, a self-propelled treadmill that can be used for running or walking in any SwimEx therapy or fitness pool. www.swimex.com.
>> Hind received Fleet Feet's annual apparel vendor of the year award. The award recognizes Hind for its overall contribution to the growth and success of Fleet Feet's apparel business over the past year. Criteria for the award include product innovation and quality, brand strength, service and delivery. In other Fleet Feet news, the 45-store company that started 27 years ago and has always been based in Sacramento, Calif., has moved its company headquarters to Carrboro, N.C.
>> Reebok has won accolades already with its new Premier series of running shoes. Both Runner's World magazine and the Running Network (a collection of regional magazines) have named the Premier Road shoe a top pick. The awards according to the magazines are based on wear-testing and testers' feedback. The Premier series is part of new campaign and product by Reebok called "Running Made Easy."
>> Moving Comfort has launched a Women's Beginner Fitness Grant program with grants ranging from $300 to $1,000. Applicants must be non-profit running or walking clubs that can show they can manage a beginner program. "The purpose of the Women's Beginner Fitness Grant Program is to help create or support existing grassroots running and walking programs that encourage women to get fit," said Moving Comfort President Ellen Wessel. Applicants will be judged on creativity of proposal, including promotional plans, ability and strategy to work in partnership with local retailers, organizational experience of club officers or program leaders, number of participants targeted, likelihood of lasting effect on participants, and exposure for Moving Comfort in the local community. Deadline for applications is April 15.