Falling into a Promising Autumn COMING OFF THE HIGH OF THE OLYMPICS AND PARALYMPICS, we begin a new school year. But in the midst of kids trudging off to class and parents bracing for the next onslaught of fundraisers, there is some great news for the sports planning industry: high school students’ participation in sports is up. Not just up but up for the 27th year. This news came from the annual survey compiled by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the NGB for high school sports in the U.S. In fact, based on figures from the survey, the number of participants in high school sports reached an all-time high of 7,868,900 – an increase of 61,853 from the previous year. In this issue, we celebrate youth sports, as well as the full continuum of the business of our industry, and let’s face it: has there ever been a better time to cover these sports? Our Multi-Sport article, for example, focuses on gymnastics. Our Facilities article on softball is also timely since baseball and softball will be included medal sports in 2024. And in Sports Landscape, we’ll look at great venues and ideas for open-water competitions. This issue also has news on the business of sports: Negotiating with Facility Vendors, Event Safety & Security, and Travel Options: Transportation are all featured, as is Negotiating Long-Term Contracts. Can you think of any issues that are closer to topof- mind for our readers? But even with all this great content, I’d like to make a suggestion: that YOU (yes, you) consider writing for us in some of our coming issues. SDM values your insights, your viewpoints and your experience. You, as readers, make our magazine valuable to others and writing an article as an industry thought leader is a great way to share what you’ve learned. Why wait for the next meeting, convention or reception to tell your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this further. As we head into the last quarter of 2016, we can see great things ahead. An active high school student population can, if channeled correctly, become an active adult population. Let’s harness the energy from the Olympics and Paralympics to the promise of today’s teenagers. We all have a bright, strong and healthy future to look forward to. 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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