Chief Executive Officer ( in Fitness sector)

Full Time
Posted 2 months ago

Opportunity Overview

Sport Business Talent is working closely with Europe Active to recruit their future CEO (Chief Executive Officer) for a position based in Brussels (Belgium).

EuropeActive represents a thriving sector that generates over EUR 28 billion in annual revenues, encompassing more than 63,380 facilities serving over 61 million customers across Europe. Their unwavering mission is to promote the interests of all organizations that work towards getting more people, more active, and more often, stimulating the value of the market in the process.

They achieve this through collaboration with EU institutions, national associations, fitness operators, suppliers, and dedicated front-line professionals, along with organizing an increasing number of Europe-wide events that serve to stimulate positivity and progress across the market. This work is underpinned by an increasingly powerful research and content strategy that serves to inform the sector and educate stakeholders as to its value and impact.

Since its establishment in 1996 as a non-profit organization, Europe Active has evolved into the singular and authoritative voice advocating for the European fitness and physical activity sector to key EU institutions.


What does Europe Active Do?

Influence Policy and Advocacy:

We take a proactive approach in closely monitoring EU policies and legislation. Our primary objective is to represent the interests of our members and stakeholders to major EU institutions, including the OECD and WHO, as well as other civil society organizations.

Knowledge and Insight:

EuropeActive facilitates and provides strong support for market and scientific research through ThinkActive and the European Data Hub. The primary aim is to enhance the quality of knowledge and evidence concerning the fitness and physical activity sector. The research findings are shared through comprehensive reports, keeping our members, EU policymakers, and other civil society organizations well-informed about crucial events and issues impacting the sector.

Unparalleled Networking:

EuropeActive firmly believes in the transformative potential of education, knowledge sharing, and networking to foster improved business practices and entrepreneurship within the sector. To support our members and stakeholders, we organize a variety of exclusive industry events including the European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF), Active Leadership Forum (ALF), International Standards Meeting (ISM), Exercise for Health Summit (EfHS), and the General Assembly.

Champion Best Practice:

We are committed to actively supporting the development and implementation of industry standards. We aim to enhance professionalism, growth, competitiveness, and efficiency within our sector through ongoing standardization for:

Educators: are supported by the Professional Standards Committee (PSC), an independent body responsible for strategic thinking in the development of EuropeActive’s educational standards to ensure that they are fit for purpose and up to date. The PSC also oversees the accreditation of training providers with reference to the standards.

Fitness Professionals through EREPS - the European Register of Exercise Professionals, a fully independent register of instructors, trainers and teachers working in the European fitness and physical activity sector.

Clubs through FitCert, the European fitness club certification scheme based on the new European standards EN17229. In this scheme, fitness clubs are assessed against the criteria of the standards to show that they conform to good practices for their operations and management. The system has been developed so clubs can independently demonstrate that they have high customer service standards and provide a safe and appropriate environment for its users.

Through these measures, we aim to improve our reputation and trust with consumers through enhanced safety measures and higher professionalism.


Mission and Vision?

EuropeActive’s mission is to promote the interests of all organizations that work towards getting more people, more active, more often. Our Vision is to be the leading European voice for the fitness and physical activity sector.


Job Summary and Objective:

As EuropeActive’s CEO, you are responsible for guiding the organization towards achieving its mission and vision by executing the key initiatives set forth in our strategic plan. The CEO will oversee all aspects of the association's operations, including strategic planning, financial management, advocacy, and member services. This role requires a strong understanding of the fitness industry, excellent leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders.


Key Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership:

Execute the association's strategic plan in alignment with its mission and vision.

Identify emerging trends and opportunities in the fitness sector and provide guidance to the association's members, councils and partners.

Foster innovation and continuous improvement and connection within the association and the industry.

Financial Management:

♦ Develop and manage the association's annual budget, ensuring financial stability and sustainability

♦ Oversee fundraising efforts, including cultivating relationships with our key members, funders, and sponsors.

Ensure transparency and accountability in financial reporting and compliance with relevant regulations.

Advocacy and Representation:

♦ Serve as the primary spokesperson and advocate for the association, promoting the interests of the fitness and physical activity sector to government entities, regulatory bodies, and the public.

Build relationships and collaborate with industry stakeholders, including fitness professionals, businesses, and government agencies.

Stay informed about legislative and regulatory developments that may impact the fitness and physical activity sector and take appropriate action to influence policies.

Play a leading role in the nurturing of a network of national associations that seek to carry forward this mission at the national level

Member Services and Stakeholder Engagement:

Develop and implement programs and services that provide value to association members, such as professional development opportunities, networking events, and resources, focused on increasing the value provided by the organization to its members.

Capitalize on this value provided to members by growing revenue generated through member contributions and sponsorship activities

Foster a strong sense of community and engagement among association members, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Address member inquiries, concerns, and needs effectively and in a timely manner.

Organizational Management:-

Responsible for leading and developing the core Europe Active team and network of Ambassadors

Recruit, develop, and retain a high-performing team, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity.

Provide guidance and support to association staff, ensuring their professional growth and job satisfaction.

Oversee the implementation of operational policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.



A true European with significant experience in an international/European senior leadership role with strong commercial proven success.

Strong leadership and team management skills, with a collaborative, coaching, and inclusive approach.

Knowledge – or willingness to acquire- of the fitness and physical activity sector, including trends, challenges, and opportunities. Affinity with the sector, active sportsperson

Demonstrated ability to develop and implement/execute strategic plans and drive organizational growth.

Results orientated with laser-beam focus

Excellent communicator, Fluent in spoken and written English; additional European languages are an asset

Good public speaking skills, with the ability to represent the association effectively.

Empathic and culturally sensitive with diplomatic style, with good understanding of cultural dynamics across Europe

Experience with modern marketing and Social Media strategies

Strong financial management skills, including budgeting and fundraising.

Ability to build and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders, including members/partners, industry leaders, and government officials. A strong networker.

Experience in advocacy and policy influencing is a plus

Events management experience would be very useful

Must have a strong personal interest in health & fitness/sports

Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of the association and the fitness industry


Work Location and Travel Requirements

Work Flexibility: This position offers the occasional flexibility of remote work with 1-2 days per week office days for on-site meetings and team collaboration.

Proximity Expectations: We prefer candidates who reside within a reasonable commuting distance from our Brussels Headquarters- Av. des Arts 43, 1040 Brussels

This role involves frequent travel across Europe with approximately 30% of the time traveling to events, partners, and key stakeholder meetings.



Competitive Package

Job Features

Job CategoryTop Management

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