Mary Helen Sprecher 2015-06-20 01:29:58
Choosing Giving Back Over Selling Out If I’d known the tweet that appeared in my feed early in 2015 would wield so much influence a few months later, I would have done a screen capture. The gist of it was this: Increasingly, college students are choosing to forego a traditional spring break (translation: traveling to some resort destination in order to indulge in an excess of drinking, partying and spending) in favor of traveling somewhere decidedly less glamorous in order to perform community service. Excuse me while I repeat this: There are kids who are choosing to give up what has become an almost mandatory week of hedonism (because, come on, we all know what spring break entails) in order to do something selfless. And they’re doing this in neighborhoods around the nation – and even in international areas that have been hit by a natural disaster. I was floored, and it gave me a lot of hope about the new generation that will be coming into the workplace in a few years. Volunteerism is what drives many of our events, and it is found at all levels. This issue contains two great contributions from people who surely know their volunteers. The first is Kait Mitchell, who writes about the community work being performed by the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team (oh, and people, these are Olympic athletes, in case that didn’t register right away). The second is Botetourt County, Virginia, who gave us access to Bluefield College’s photos of the volunteer work being performed by the National Christian College Athletic Association’s softball players while they were in the area for their national tournament. But volunteers aren’t all that make events tick. Equally essential are the partnerships event owners and rights owners can forge with sports commissions and CVBs – and there’s a great article on that by Jon Schmeider of the Huddle Up Group. Working with hotels and crafting a successful agreement for lodging and stay-to-play is another part of the jigsaw puzzle, as Diane Schafer, CMP, explains. Then there’s understanding the legal issues concerning travel documentation, which Michael Wildes, Esq., covers. As always, we are grateful to two industry contributors who have helped us understand what is going on within the sports world. The US Golf Association’s Rand Jerris, and the National Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators Association’s Jim Lord have provided us with exceptional insights. (And in case you were wondering, volunteerism is what all of the above people demonstrated in contributing articles to SDM, by the way). This issue focuses on the Southeast as a destination for meetings, and also highlights the ever-growing sport of lacrosse. Wrestling, boxing and martial arts are gaining ground as well, and running and road sports are undergoing a seismic shift, with ever more athletes enrolling in obstacle races, novelty runs, theme events and others. It’s all a part of the ongoing evolution that is the sports industry. The landscape of sports continues to change and we continue to track those changes. The pages ahead will tell you more MARY HELEN SPRECHER, managing editor of Sports Destination Management, has been a technical writer for almost 30 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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