Mary Helen Sprecher 2013-06-24 10:18:55
Fighting Our Way Back IN BROWSING PHOTOS FOR USE WITH AN ARTICLE in this issue, I came across a series of shots taken at a boxing match. One athlete was getting pounded mercilessly by his opponent but each shot showed him fighting his way upright and charging back toward the center of the ring. It was an action that in every way mirrors our experiences. In the last 12 months, we have been dealt an unprecedented, and certainly unexpected, number of blows. In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the U.S. and left behind a path of devastation. In spring, every one of us felt the horrific impact of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Oklahoma was beset by deadly tornadoes and Colorado by fires. We have seen shootings and unimaginable tragedy. But in each case, the community that had been hit, and the country as a whole, kept staggering to its feet, battered but ready to fight back. I saw our industry respond as well. CVBs and sports commissions reached out to one another, offering to help out with any events that had to be displaced. Sports events donated proceeds to charities in Boston. Marathons around the country encouraged those runners who hadn’t finished that race to come participate in theirs free of charge. Sports events are a way we express our strength and our solidarity. In Hartford, Connecticut, a 5K was held with Sandy Hook staff, students and their parents running, surrounded by participants from the state, and from plenty of other states. US Youth Soccer remained resolute, holding its Region III (South) Championships as scheduled in Oklahoma, and providing multiple opportunities to donate materials and funds to those affected by the disaster. If those (and the many others I don’t have space to mention here) aren’t demonstrations of unity, strength and team spirit, I don’t know what is. Our industry regains its feet and keeps fighting. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. We pull our teammates up and we encourage them along too, and we’re grateful to those who cheer us on and keep us moving forward. Let’s resolve now to continue to support one another and to help out wherever we can. It’s how we show our fighting spirit and how we all win in the face of adversity. Corrections: In the May/June 2013 issue, the web address for the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau was incorrectly stated. The correct address is www.visitcrawfordcounty.com. In addition, Amanda Davis of the Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s name was misstated. Sports Destination Management regrets these errors. 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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