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February 2007
Fast News
Getting Buff Soon, members of a Dutch health club will be given one opportunity each week to let it all hang out - literally.

Beginning March 4, Sunday mornings at Fitworld, a gym located in the town of Heteren, will cater to club members who prefer to exercise in the nude. According to Fitworld owner Patrick de Man, "Naked Sundays" are a response to increased demand from club members for clothing-optional training sessions. "I heard that some other gyms are offering courses on 'pole-dancing' as a sport," he told the Associated Press. "So I thought, why not bring something new to the market?"

Yet, some nudists, including Bernd Huiser of the 70,000-member Dutch Federation of Naturists, wonder if this isn't anything more than a publicity stunt. "We recently conducted a large survey among our members, and most prefer to exercise with their clothes on," said Huiser. "The most popular activities for nudists are things you do outdoors, like walking on the beach or swimming in a lake."

At least one thing is for sure. Naked Sundays are absolutely off limits to peeping toms. "Anyone who shows up just to ogle will be thrown out," said de Man, noting that his staff members will remain clothed. "This is a special session for naturists, and we will be very strict in enforcing this."

But the club also has a couple of guidelines for its nude exercisers - they will be required to lay towels on weight machines and to use disposable seat covers while riding exercise bikes.

Measured Success Have you ever wondered how the number of recreational football fields in your city compares with that of your peers?

If so, such answers may soon be available, thanks to a national inventory survey being conducted by recreation consultancies GreenPlay LLC and ETC Institute/Leisure Vision, on behalf of the National Recreation and Park Association and USA Football.

The survey is made possible by a National Football League Youth Football Fund grant, and is expected to help identify how parks and recreation agencies provide critical support for both in-house and independent youth football programs at the community level.

This survey will provide valuable information to the NFL Youth Football Fund as it determines how to allocate more than $100 million in funding over the next few years to improve access and opportunities for youth to enjoy football. Agencies completing the online survey (www.nrpafootballsurvey.com) will automatically become eligible for future funding consideration.

In the Field
Company News
  • Matrix Fitness Systems (Cottage Grove, Wis.) named Chris Clawson as president and promoted Kent Stevens to executive vice president. Clawson succeeds Nathan Pyles, who retains his position as president of Johnson Health Tech North America.
  • Fabio, romance icon and longtime fitness enthusiast, joined forces with industry veterans Paul Grymkowski, Bruce Filaski and Diane Duff to launch a new fitness licensing chain, 365 Fitness.
  • Jostens Inc. (Minneapolis) was named the title sponsor of a new multisport facility at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, scheduled to open in the fall of 2008.
  • The Golf Course Builders Association of America Foundation, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, announced the selection of 100 facilities to implement its "Sticks for Kids" program, a golf-instruction workshop to introduce youth to the game of golf.
  • Soccer In The Streets (Atlanta) will kick-off its 2007 schedule with the POWERade Street-Cup on February 19 at Atlanta's Grove Park Recreation Center.
  • Paramount Fitness (Los Angeles) named Jim McIntyre as vice president of sales and marketing and Chris Babecky as director of sales, North America.

Want to see your name in lights? Send press releases and news to our Web Editor for consideration: webeditor@athleticbusiness.com

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It's Show Time
ABC's Trade Show Floor - A Showcase of New Products See the sports, fitness and recreation industry's newest innovations on the trade show floor at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Orlando. You'll find everything you need to design, build, operate, equip and market your facilities and programs - from surfaces, aquatic products, fitness equipment and software to basketball products, scoreboards, bleachers, lockers and architectural services.

The trade show also features great new products in three pavilions from ABC's show partners:

  • See age-friendly products at the International Council on Active Aging pavilion.
  • Wellness products are featured at the Medical Fitness Association pavilion.
  • Find youth sports products at the National Alliance for Youth Sports pavilion.
  • Cost is just $395 for the first person, $340 per person for the second and third person from the same organization, and $160 per person for each additional person (4th and beyond) from the same organization - inexpensive when compared to many other conferences.

Fast Job
GP Sports Centers is seeking a general manager for its first Go Play Sports location in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The general manager must love sports and kids and be interested in helping plan this new multiuse indoor team sport facility.
Don't Miss This
In our next issue: Aquatic industry leaders turn to supplemental disinfection systems after severe outbreaks of recreational water illnesses.

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Did You Miss This?
In our current issue: The 2007 Buyers Guide offers a complete listing of industry manufacturers, suppliers, products, associations, architects, consultants and facility specifications.

Search the Buyers Guide.

And the Survey Said
In response to last month's Quick Question, it has been business as usual for most of your winter sports and recreation programming, despite record-high temperatures during the first part of the season.

Complete Results: Some parts of the country have been notably snowbound (think Colorado). But many others are enjoying record-high temperatures. How has this unseasonably warm winter affected your sports and recreation programming?

  • It allowed us to extend fall-season activities: 6%
  • We had to cancel winter sports: 15%
  • It has been business as usual: 79%
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