Passing It On IT’S SUMMER AGAIN and chances are good you’re working at top speed. Kids are out of school, so summer sports camps, team tours and rec programs are in full swing, as are everything from tennis tournaments to 5Ks to swim meets. It all adds up to a full schedule for planners. But in the midst of our crunch season, it’s essential we remember how we got here, and what (or actually, who) keeps us here: the athletes.We love their ever-developing skill, their enthusiasm and their competitiveness. We love the way they’ve embraced their sports. And (need we say it?) We love the way they keep us busy. Our most important responsibility—to sport, to society as a whole and even to ourselves— is to keep those athletes coming up through the ranks. Get your own athletes together and offer a free afternoon or morning skill clinic at least once this summer to teach local kids about the sport. Maybe it’s volleyball, maybe it’s lacrosse or swimming or something else. The point is to get kids active and turn them on to all the fun things sports can offer. It all starts at the community level, and it’s not driven by Olympians (although admittedly, they get a lot of press). But in the day to day world, there are more of us regular home-bodies signing up for (and paying registration fees for) sports events than there are hard-bodies whose endorsement contracts depend on breaking a world record. In this issue, we examine various user-friendly aspects of sports events that touch our community athletes. “Remember the Athletes” and “Travel Options: Bus and Motor Coach” explain how to implement touches our participants appreciate. “Engaging the Community through Sports Events” and “Making Your Event Green” can give perspective on ways to package your event so that the benefit extends far beyond just ticket sales or registration fees. Our article on the way communities are working to recover from natural disasters is certainly a topic I hope you'll never have to face, but it also shows us the extraordinary things that can happen when everyday people pull together for a common purpose. We highlight the Southeast as a destination, volleyball as a sport, and even some tremendous facilities—a few that are lacrosse-specific, and a few that exemplify excellence on the college level. We also look at the various disciplines in rodeo as this sport, once considered a cowboy phenomenon, becomes more mainstream. Enjoy the summer, but don’t miss your opportunity to reach out to the next generation of athletes, either. Sincerely, Mary Helen Sprecher Managing Editor MARY HELEN SPRECHER 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 also works as 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 including fitness, health, sports medicine and special education.
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