Mary Helen Sprecher 2013-01-03 11:43:56
Who needs a crystal ball? WE’RE STARTING A NEW YEAR, and if you’re anything like me, you’re seeing your health club fill up with what has become known as ‘the resolution crowd.’ I love those people. They represent the optimism everyone has about sports and fitness and the year ahead. A lot of resolutions have to do with new beginnings, and with people making a commitment to a new and healthful trend in their lives. And when it comes right down to it, the landscape of sports is all about keeping tabs on emerging trends. In fact, we’ve dedicated this issue of Sports Destination Management to what we see as some of those important changes so that you can know what’s in store this year and in years to come. Take, for instance, the increasing number of events being planned for athletes with special needs. If you haven’t planned one of these yet, chances are, you’ll be doing it very soon. Get yourself prepared now, and your facilities will be not simply wheelchair- friendly, but everyone-friendly. In addition, we’ll be looking at the importance of working with authorities to get permits for events. As cities, states, parks departments and more become increasingly safety-conscious, it’s essential to follow their requirements in order to have your event come off successfully. Something else we’re seeing a lot of? The multi-tasking, multi-purpose field. Will your event be held on a sport-specific field, or (more likely) will it take place on a facility that has been set up for several uses? Here are ways to keep your athletes and organizers aware of this new trend, and what it can mean for them when they’re in the heat of a match. Our sports this time are also on the cutting edge. Rugby is a new addition to the summer Games in 2016, and we can expect an uptick in interest. Learn about new player incentives and how to get ready for this exciting new sport. Skateboarding and BMX, always hot, are also featured. And since March Madness is just around the corner, we will be showcasing some facilities that can help make your event a slam-dunk. Don’t miss our features on winter sports, since we’re in ice and snow season. Then check out the article on “Emerging Markets.” These destinations are moving to the leading edge with new facilities, new initiatives and more. They have what it takes to host your event, and plenty of others. I’m ready for 2013. In fact, I can’t wait. P. S. If your New Year’s resolution was to become more involved in your profession, I’m always looking for people to help author articles. Drop me an e-mail at email@example.com and let me know of your interest. MARY HELEN SPRECHER has been a technical writer for more than 20 years with the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national association of designers, builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities. She has worked in meeting and convention planning for non-profit associations, and previously was a staff writer for a Baltimore, Maryland newspaper. She is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, a professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and has taught meeting planning and event management courses in the continuing studies program at Goucher College, located in Towson, Maryland. Her freelance writing includes coverage of topics in the areas of fitness, health, sports medicine and special education.
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