Mary Helen Sprecher 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Running the NUMB3RS I'M A STATISTICS GEEK. Give me some numbers and percentages and I'm all over it. And as the editor of a magazine that focuses on sports travel, it's even more fascinating when those numbers apply to your subject matter. That's why I was especially glad to see hard evidence that more kids than ever are playing high school sports. The best news of all? It's a trend that has been going strong for two decades now. In its annual High School Athletics Participation Survey, the National Federation for State High School Associations (NFHS) notes that participation in high school sports increased for the 22nd consecutive school year in 20 10-11. They survey recorded a total number of7,667,955 kids playing sports, an increase of 39,578 over the previous year. It was based on annual figures provided by the 50 state high school athletic/ activity associations, plus the District of Columbia, that are members of the NFHS. This is excellent news for those of us in the sports travel and planning industry. It means more kids are enrolling in sports and staying there for their entire high school journey. It also means that in addition to representing their schools during the academic year, there is more of an off-season demand for skills clinics, camps and sports programs. Another bonus? It translates into more interested parents, family members and friends who will attend games as spectators - including games requiring travel. No matter how you look at it, the whole industry wins. Even if you're not a numbers hound. The industry'S growth underscores the importance of staying at the top of your game. To help you do that, we have an issue packed with the infonnation you need. Don't miss the articles on topics like negotiating with hotels, event merchandising and the benefits of long-term contracts - things every planner should know. This is also a great issue for destinations. Tn addition to learning about some of America's fin est facilities, you'll come away with a whole new appreciation for the Midwest, an in-depth understanding of what to look for in a football facility, and the knowledge of what it takes 10 be a top destination for cheer and dance. Don't miss the articles about hockey and wrestling, either, since those are some top choices of young athletes. If you want the full survey, you can download it free by going to the NFHS website (www.nfhs.org) and clicking on "Latest Re leases." And by the way, the National Federation has been compiling these numbers since 1971 , making this the fourth decade of recording school sports data. That's a lot to record, and a lot of changes. In the 197 1-72 school year, for example, more than 3.6 million boys played some sort of high school sport - and less than 300,000 girls. Just for once, aren't you glad you work in today's economy? Sincerely, Mary Helen Sprecher Managing Editor MARY HELEN SPRECHER has been technical wrier for more than 20 years with the American Sports Builders Assotiation (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 Continuting studies program at goucher college, located in Townson, Maryland. Her freelance writing includes coverage of topics including fitness, health, sports medicine and special education.
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