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Rainer Schaller and his family presumed dead in a plane crash in Costa Rica

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Rainer Schaller, founder and CEO of RSG group and his partner and two children are presumed dead after the private plane in which they were travelling lost radio contact off the coast of Costa Rica yesterday (21 October).

RSG Group has issued a press statement saying "We can confirm that Rainer Schaller, his family and two other people [the pilot and Schaller's personal trainer] were on board the aircraft at the time of the crash. As the situation is currently still being investigated on-site, we cannot comment further at this time and ask for your understanding.”

Local media has located the wreckage of the plane and is reporting that the bodies of an adult and child have already been recovered, with the search ongoing for the remaining passengers.

Schaller had been one of the global leaders in the health and fitness industry, bringing a dynamism and entrepreneurial drive to his work that saw him create 20 health and fitness brands, including McFit, the first low-cost gym, the John Reed luxe boutique brand and most recently, country club concept, Heimat.

Schaller and his team bought Gold’s Gym out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, going on to revive the brand with the opening of a new sustainable flagship club in Berlin.

HCM editor Liz Terry said: “This is a terrible tragedy and an inestimable loss for the global health and fitness industry. The innovations brought to the market by Rainer Schaller helped to build the foundations of our sector and energise our progress. He will be hugely missed and our deep condolences go out to everyone at RSG Group.”

John Treharne, founder of The Gym Group, paid tribute to Schaller, saying “What a devastating loss to his family and all at RSG to whom our sincere condolences go to at this very sad time. He was an amazing leader and the founder of the low cost gym sector that has spread worldwide. He will leave a huge gap in our sector that will be difficult to fill.”

Phillip Mills, founder of Les Mills, said: “Rainer was a visionary – one of the greatest innovators in the history of our industry. This is a terrible loss to fitness.”

Industry veteran, Harm Tegelaars said: "This is tragic news. Rainer Schaller, a discreet, humble, highly competent and likeable gentleman. The Capo di Capi of all worldwide club operators for many years. A true great of the industry. He will be missed by many. I am in shock and very sad to hear this news. My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends and all his colleagues at RSG."

Marco Gruer, a former colleague sent his condolences, saying "I started my training 1997 in Rainer Schaller's first studio in Würzburg. He was a great person and I'm really sad about this and send best wishes to his Family in Schlüsselfeld."

If you would like to remember and pay tribute to Rainer Schaller, please email [email protected]

More tributes can be found and posted on LinkedIn.

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Rainer Schaller, founder and CEO of RSG group and his partner and two children are presumed dead after the private plane in which they were travelling lost radio contact off the coast of Costa Rica yesterday (21 October). children are presumed dead, after the aircraft in which they were travelling lost radio contact in Costa Rica.
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