Soccer, Zumba participation numbers increase this year

An hour of sleep lost to Daylight Saving Time wasn’t enough to keep IAADS attendees away from the annual soccer tournament or the Zumba class. In fact, participation increased for both events, providing attendees with some fun exercise and early networking opportunities at the 2014 show.

Soccer

Soccer

The participants of the 2014 IAADFS Soccer Tournament enjoyed two fast-faced games and an early networking opportunity on Sunday.

Some call it football, others call it soccer. Either way, the participants in this year’s IAADFS Soccer Tournament enjoyed a pair of fast-paced games that led to a shootout to determine the tournament winner.

The team wearing blue scrimmage gear won the tournament on penalty kicks. Diego Oviedo, manager of Duty Free Mannah, Paraguay, was part of the winning team. He usually plays tennis at the IAADFS show, but decided to play in the soccer tournament because it’s another sport he enjoys.

“It was a very good activity,” he said. “We love soccer. I’m from South America and everyone plays there. For me, I want to play this every year. I hope next year we have more players so we can play more games.”

Hannes Koch, area director Europe for travel retail at Beiersdorf AG, Germany, said that although his team didn’t pull off a win, he’s glad he participated this year.

“It’s actually the perfect start,” he said. “It’s the best setup you can imagine to play with some good people. It’s not that much about winning, it’s more for having fun, but it was a good level of sport.”

Kemal Tolunay, referee, played on the losing team so each team would be even. He said the level of competition was impressive.

“They were very competitive and aggressive,” he said. “They have some great players, especially the ones from Europe.”

The friendly competition of the event led to more than just a good soccer tournament.

“These guys, none of them knew each other,” Tolunay said. “Now they were talking about going out tonight at the same table. They made friends.”

Zumba

Zumba

Lola Perez, Unique Luxury Goods, follows the lead of instructor Vivian Williams at Sunday’s Zumba exercises.

Zumba, a dance fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez during the 1990s, has been a part of the IAADFS show for three years.

The purpose of this year’s class was the same as it’s always been. “We’re just trying to let them know what Zumba is all about and how it works the entire body,” said Vivian Williams, owner of Brickhouse Cardio Club in Kissimmee, Fla., who led the session. “It’s dancing, but it’s still fitness and it’s fun.”

Williams, a certified Zumba instructor, said she was impressed with how well the participants kept up with her every move.

“They did awesome,” she said. “Once you can get people to have fun with it, they don’t realize they’re working out.”

As it turns out, Zumba is a perfect activity to have at the IAADFS show.

“Dancing is a universal language,” Williams said. “Some of these people I could barely communicate with. There’s very little English. Zumba is everywhere, though.”

Participants moved their bodies to the beats of salsa, merengue, pop, hip-hop, and reggae.

Following the class, participants paired up and began networking.

Sue Muller, tradeshow manager with Tea Forte, said her company is new to the IAADFS show and she wanted to participate in an event to network with others in the industry. Zumba proved to be the perfect place to do this.

“I got four contacts from this,” she said. “Now I already feel like I have four friends here. That’s what it’s all about. “This show is all about making connections. The activities that are here are fantastic. We’re really looking forward to networking.”

Yashovardhan Gupta, director and CEO of leather accessories for Cross, participated in the class for the first time.

“It’s nice to have a change in options other than golf and tennis,” he said. “It’s a great way to attract the people who do not bring tennis or golf gear.”

He said Williams was a great instructor and the class was at just the right intensity level. He said he expects to return to the class next year.

“This is my first time here, but I’m looking to come here every time,” he said. “This is the most exercise I’ve done in two years.”