Mary Helen Sprecher 2016-03-05 03:29:28
Focusing on the Games (not the Problems) MONTH BY MONTH, week by week, we edge closer to the Olympics. But rather than getting excited, we keep hearing bleak news about the situation in Rio: water pollution, dengue fever, venue problems, social unrest and more recently, the Zika virus. And that’s a shame, really, because in the ideal world, we’d be spending this time celebrating the Games and the athletes who are even now being selected to participate. As sports event owners, rights holders and planners, we put hours into guarding against so many problems that can plague an event. This issue of SDM addresses many of the precautions we take. The articles about medical support at sports events, and about the various forms of insurance available are two examples. We’re also focusing on stay-to-play contracts and on accommodations for athletes and spectators: essential details in the cohesiveness of our events. But if we choose to focus on what’s great about this year’s Games – the sports and the athletes themselves – we see a whole different (and much more positive) picture, and a few other articles in this issue tie in with that. The Sports Landscape feature on golf highlights the sport that is making a comeback in the Olympics this summer. The Facilities piece on soccer also deserves your attention; there aren’t many sports with a higher profile right now and a wealth of great facilities are ready to host the burgeoning number of events. And swimming and diving are the sports highlighted in our Multi-Sport/Multi-Discipline Review. With the U.S. fielding what some say is one of its strongest teams yet, you’ll want to keep an eye on the venues that can host those events, which are sure to benefit from the ‘bounce,’ as the NGBs call the sports growth spurt that follows the Olympics. And keep an eye on the future. Our Executive Insights piece focuses on US Youth Soccer, the organization helping to develop the athletes of tomorrow. Sports Outlook features the Professional Disc Golf Association, which has watched that sport enjoy explosive growth. We’re also highlighting the mountain region of the United States, which has some great venues for your next event, no matter whether it plays out in a gym, on a trail or anywhere else. Let’s focus on the Games themselves and try to remember the many benefits they can have as they inspire the world and bring us all a little closer. Isn’t that really the goal? 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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