New Year, New Opportunities WHILE OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEAM SPORTS for children are plentiful, adults sometimes have to work a bit harder to find opportunities to compete in the sports they enjoyed in high school and college. And historically, some sports have been harder to find than others. That’s why I was glad to see new professional leagues announced in football, rugby and women’s lacrosse. For those who haven’t been keeping up with the news, three organizations: Professional Rugby Organization (PRO Rugby), the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) and Major League Football (MLFB), all made their bow in 2015, with play scheduled to begin in earnest this year. That’s good news, both from an opportunity- for-play perspective (for athletes), and from an opportunity-for-business perspective (for this industry.) The new year seems to be exploding with opportunity, and with March Madness and the Olympics on the horizon, there’s plenty of chances for kids (and adults as well) to sit up and take notice of sports – and want to participate. This issue showcases some of the sports that are likely to be noticed. Our Facilities feature on basketball can help you find destinations for those events. Want to know about extreme sports like skateboarding and BMX? They’re here as well. And so are snow and ice sports – if our much-vaunted Godzilla El Nino comes through, we’ll be seeing a lot of opportunities for those. Some sports, like racquetball, the subject of our Executive Insights feature, are classic, while others, such as obstacle racing, in Sports Outlook, continue to evolve. You can also pick up good information about putting on events for athletes with disabilities (and with the Paralympics following hard on the heels of the summer Olympics, there are plenty of opportunities to be inspired.) Technology will always keep evolving so don’t overlook our feature on live-streaming, or on social media strategies for events. And if you wanted to get some hints on how to fine-tune your bid packet, our Perspectives piece has it. Want to learn more about facilities in the Northeast? Our Regional Focus has that information. The new year is a time for resolutions. Plenty of those involve increased activity and getting in shape, but plenty also involve professional development. I encourage anyone who wants to get more involved in our industry to consider authoring an article for us. SDM covers a wide range of topics, and there’s sure to be something that dovetails with your interests. So don’t wait. Embrace the new year and all the opportunities it will bring. 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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