Mary Helen Sprecher 2014-08-27 06:40:27
And it all started with an e-mail... The enThusiasm in The e-mail was so infectious that I found myself drawn into it almost immediately. “I want to introduce you to competitive jump-roping,” it started out. “I am on a team of about 25 kids ranging from ages 7-18, and we wish you would come check us out.” The e-mail was bursting with information about competitions, practices and YouTube videos, all detailing a sport I’d never even heard about before sitting down at my computer that morning. Before it ended, I was smiling. And while admittedly, I’m an absolute sucker for any sport that gets kids off the couch and away from the TV, I’m even more impressed when someone of any age takes the time to contact the magazine to let us know about subjects they’d like to see covered. What people sometimes don’t realize is that readers are the lifeblood of the magazine.They’re where we get our best ideas and they’re our best contributors. This issue is no exception. Take a look at the articles on long-term contracts, safety and security, transportation options and negotiations with facility vendors. All four of those articles were written by industry experts who were willing to share their knowledge in the interest of helping readers better their own events. Some other examples are found in the Sports Outlook article on USA Cycling’s initiatives to bring more new riders into the fold, and in the Executive Insights piece on the Professional Disc Golf Association. In both cases, leaders from those organizations gave of their time and their expertise so that readers could learn more. This issue is, in fact, filled with great information. Destinations and NGBs from sports across the nation have shared their photos and ideas about soccer, gymnastics and water sports. Our Regional Focus article features interviews with cities in the Southwest and Pacific, highlighting some new and favored facilities. There’s more too; our From the Web feature highlights some industry news that appeared on our site, sent in by our readers. So here’s my challenge to you: let’s hear your suggestions. Let’s hear your ideas. Let’s hear you volunteer to write an article. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m always interested in what you have to say. I’m serious about that, too. Remember that e-mail I mentioned, the one about competitive jump-roping? You can look for that sport to be covered in a future issue. And why? Because someone spoke up and gave us that great idea. So let us hear from you. We’re listening. MARY HELEN SPRECHER, managing editor of Sports Destination Management, 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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