Thomas Rieger

Sport Management

Presentation at Lithuanian Sports University

Next stop will be the Lithuanian Sports University in Kaunas providing a speech at the 2nd Conference of the World Association for Sport Management, title: "Being Different through “Eventisation“? – The German Fitness Sector in the Field of Tension Between Health and Event Society". My colleague Stefan Chatrath from Berlin is also entering the stage with a topic about price management in professional sports. The BiTS Sport Management department thus has a strong international recognition.
Please follow me on Instagram to be updated about the happenings. Click

Semester has started!

Big welcome today at BiTS. Students and professor are very much looking forward to the upcoming weeks. Happy to have the opportunity to introduce the students to the amazing topic of sport management.

New Publication


New book by EuropeActive: Growing the fitness sector through innovation (Editors: Jan Middelkamp & Herman Rutgers), Chapter 8 - Innovations in fitness education: The European approach of standards development for specialist occupations by Thomas Rieger & Alexis Batrakoulis.

New Human Kinetics Publication Available Soon

In early 2016 the third part of our series is on the way: EuropeActive's Essentials for Personal Trainers. The book will be available in February 2016. For more info click here.


6th International Standards Meeting


Webinar for Human Kinetics

I am happy to deliver a webinar about the relevant aspects of fitness instruction based on European standards. The platform is provided by Human Kinetics, one of the most renowned publishers for Sports Science worldwide. For more information click on the logo.


Speaker in Zagreb

Looking forward to my next International speech at the congress of the European Initiative of Exercise is Medicine in Zagreb. For more information click here.


European Health & Fitness Forum

EuropeActive hosts one of the most important European forums for fitness and health. One day before FIBO in Cologne the European Health & Fitness Forum opens its doors. This year's theme is Motivation & Behavioral Change. More information about the programme is available here. I will join the forum as well as the first two days of FIBO. Would be a pleasure to meeting you there!


EuropeActive and Human Kinetics

The first two books are published! Proud to serve as first and second editor!
EuropeActive’s Foundations for Exercise Professionals provides core knowledge and industry standards to help exercise professionals serve their clients. Endorsed by EuropeActive, the continent’s leading standard-setting organisation in fitness and health, this text is an authoritative guide for current and future exercise professionals and training providers in Europe. Click on the image to order your copy.

EA Professionals

EuropeActive's Essentials for Fitness Instructors includes fundamentals and best practices of concepts, duties and responsibilities that fitness instructors perform on the job. The content applies to level 3 of the European Qualifications Framework. Click on the image to order your copy.

EA instructors

5th International Standards Meeting - Report

The 2014 International Standards Meeting, supported by EuropeActive, was hosted by HealthCity in Amsterdam.
75 fitness industry experts representing 21 different countries came together on 14-15 October to intensively discuss standardisation and commercialisation of fitness standards. Roundtable workshops and keynote presentations were focused on strategies and tools to manage the balance between standardisation and commercialisation, so standards are not only recognised by those working within the sector, but also by the consumer. The 2014 programme followed recommendations from last years’ delegate evaluations with a format based on outcome, relevance and delegate satisfaction. The number of keynote sessions was increased as well as the interactive components. The main purpose of the meeting still remained, namely to use the outcomes of the different sessions as important guides to rethink and improve the current set of standards and to think about new future-oriented education in fitness and health. The meeting was flanked by little activation and exercise sessions due to the mission of the sector to get more people, more active, more often.
The importance of the fitness sector qualification framework, developed by EuropeActive, has not changed within the past twelve months, and it is still seen as the most extensive system worldwide by including employers, academics and industry stakeholders to the working processes and consultations.
The event was opened by René Moos, CEO of HealthCity, who expressed his pleasure on behalf of his company for having the opportunity to welcome such an international and renowned group of sector experts.
Prof Thomas Rieger (Chairman of EuropeActive’s Standards Council) introduced to the proceedings and emphasised the remarkable development of the event. Moreover, he highlighted the relevance of bridging the technical part of educational standards to the needs and wishes of the customers.
As in previous years, the delegate group was composed of representatives from higher education, vocational training and accreditation bodies. The programme contained two keynotes, three impulse presentations and four roundtable sessions.
Graham Melstrand, Vice President Corporate Affairs American Council on Exercise and Dr Brian Biagioli, Executive Director National Council on Strength & Fitness (both USA) clearly outlined in their presentation “Fitness: An Industry at a Crossroads” that it is essential to define meaningful standards for facilities and practitioners that address the concerns of other stakeholders and to strongly aim for recognition of exercise professionals and membership-based fitness facilities as credible providers of primary prevention programmes and services. Additionally, the industry needs scalable outcome-based programmes for members and non-members to address a variety of chronic health conditions. Finally, both speakers illustrated the necessity to enhance the education for primary care practitioners to increase their competence and confidence in physical activity and nutrition.
Dr Paul Bedford, retention guru and university lecturer, shared his comprehensive insights into the different areas of customer retention and its immense relevance for business success. Again a strong argument for understanding fitness and physical activity as a service industry!
Jan Middelkamp, CEO of HDD Group and EuropeActive Board Member, focused on practical strategies to support behaviour change towards exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. Among many other useful strategies based on various scientific theories, Jan strongly encouraged people to wear casual clothes as often as possible, as this psychologically leads to a higher level of activity.
Hille Meetsma, Co-founder of VitalinQ Healthy Lifestyle Support, emphatically recommended that fitness instructors should understand their business as lifestyle counselling in order to shape a healthier future for both the club and the individual.
The final impulse presentation held by Dr Francesco Bertiato from Technogym informed the audience about the main elements of the Technogym Educational System, which is an important part of the company’s mission to be an innovation driver.
The four roundtables included different topics, the importance of body appearance in the fitness industry, the strong need of educational standards for pre and post natal exercise, ideas of how to implement entertainment components for the EQF-level 3 standards for group fitness instructors, game changing innovations in the fitness industry and ways to create more credibility and evolvement in fitness credentials European vocational level.
Prof Rieger said “the two days in Amsterdam were fantastic regarding different aspects like delegate engagement, as we welcomed people from 21 countries, and the given input from people towards new standards as well as to commercialise the already existing ones. Over the past five years the “standards family” has steadily grown and we attract new members year by year. This shows the enormous interest of stakeholders in shaping the future of fitness in a quality-oriented, but also marketable way.”
The ISM has now established itself as the foremost forum for international standards development in fitness and improving cooperation surrounding operational requirements for registers of exercise professionals.
To download presentations click here.