Mary Helen Sprecher 2014-01-02 21:02:01
The Road to Sports The posT-holiday winTer doldrums might not get people fired up about sports – until you think about how much is waiting for us. As the Olympics in Sochi take over our Tvs, America will be enjoying anything and everything taking place on ice and snow. (Want a sneak peek? See our Sports Landscapes feature to find out about all the classics plus some new and fresh additions to the winter sports world). It’s hard not to catch that Winter Olympic fever, no matter how sunny your home state. What we need to get just as motivated for, however, is what immediately follows each Olympics. The Paralympic Games, held in the same venues, showcase the achievements of athletes with impairments. Each time, those Games reignite the competitive fire in a sector of the population that was once discounted as having sports potential. We’re certainly glad that’s not the case any longer. According to the Paralympics website, the first set of Paralympic Games was held in Rome, Italy in 1960 and featured 400 athletes from 23 countries competing in 13 sports. The London 2012 Paralympic Games broke all records with more than 4,250 athletes from 164 countries taking part in 20 sports and a record 2.7 million tickets were sold to spectators. What we need to ask ourselves, however, is what we’re doing in our communities to offer and promote sports for athletes with special challenges – and how to make our events truly welcoming. (Think about it; it would be a great New Year’s resolution.) Want some ideas? We have them for you in this issue, from a writer at the United States Association for Blind Athletes. The learning doesn’t stop there, however. We have articles that feature excellent insights into working with the media, as well as on organizing events for family and friends of athletes. There’s also a great roundtable feature on the Stay to Play program, presented by a number of our friends from the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus. Before we know it, March Madness will be upon us, so our Sports Facilities article on basketball comes at a welcome time. The world of BMX and skateboarding is growing exponentially, so don’t miss that article either. And since this is one time the Northeast really shines, we have a feature showcasing its highlights. What else should we be looking at? How about some new sports? The National Federation of State High School Associations has given us their perspective on emerging interests among teenaged athletes. And since we’re all about the new year and the new trends, it’s time to examine some new and expanding markets in our Industry Leadership feature. Winter doesn’t have to be dark and cold. When we look at it in the right light, it is filled with excellent sports opportunities – for everyone. And that means everyone.
Published by Due North Consulting, Inc.. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Editor%27s+Letter/1601735/190807/article.html.