Rained-Out Rec; Get Out of the Cold

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July 2007
Fast News
Rained-Out Rec For weeks, torrential rains have ravaged Texas, washing out roads and bridges, forcing evacuations and rescues, and causing millions of dollars in damage to hundreds of businesses and residences. Also a casualty of the summer flooding is the Tyler Summer Playground Program, which opened at five city parks on June 4. Designed to offer youths a variety of summertime activities, the program has been rained out most days, with participating children forced to seek shelter under park pavilions instead of being allowed to run free on the playgrounds.

In fact, by early July program director Van Jordan told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that his staff was running out of activities and supplies to keep the youths occupied. "We've bought so much Elmer's glue and Popsicle® sticks, our budget is almost depleted," he said.

Between storms, program participants have been able to enjoy a limited amount of time on the playgrounds. But inevitably the clouds reappear and the children are herded back to the pavilions and their board games. "The good news is we are developing expert Uno players, and chess and checkers participation has never been so high," said Jordan, who was compelled to lobby his community for donations of board games, craft materials and cards.

Get Out of the Cold After enduring a bruising, hard-fought contest, some athletes claim there's nothing like an ice-cold bath to soothe sore muscles. But a new study suggests that immersing one's body in ice water after strenuous exercise has no real benefits and, in fact, could actually be detrimental to muscle recovery.

Conducted by the University of Melbourne (Australia) and published in the June issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study found that of its 40 volunteers, those who took ice baths reported more pain after 24 hours than those who took tepid baths. These findings counter physiotherapists' longtime claims that ice baths help rid muscles of lactic acid, which can cause pain.

After the two groups of study subjects emerged from their baths, researchers measured their swelling, pain levels, performance in a hopping test and the levels of a chemical in their blood that indicates muscle damage. No differences between the two groups were found, except that those who had taken ice baths actually reported more muscle pain.

For his part, study co-author Peter Brukner expected some athletes to continue adamantly touting the benefits of ice therapy, despite his findings. "Most of them tell us that they feel they have less muscle pain and stiffness the following day after using the ice baths," Brukner told reporter James Randerson of The Guardian of the United Kingdom. "I would suggest that if (athletes) try the technique and feel that it helps, then they should continue to use it and not wait until there is scientific proof."

In the Field
Company News
  • IDEA Health & Fitness Association (San Diego) has released the results of its latest Fitness Industry Compensation Survey. The biennial report provides an in-depth look into the wages and benefits earned by all types of fitness industry practitioners. For more information, see www.ideafit.com.
  • Warrior Sports (Warren, Mich.) recently acquired Made In America Sports (Montreal), a manufacturer of high-end hockey products for retail distribution.
  • Technogym of Italy has been named an official supplier of fitness equipment to this month's 2008 Pan American Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Beynon Sports Surfaces (Hunt Valley, Md.) was awarded the bid to build the track at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, site of the 2008 Olympic track and field trials.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine announced a partnership with Wellcoaches Corporation and the Medical Fitness Association in offering coach training workshops for physical and mental health professionals. The one- and two-day ACSM-endorsed coach training workshops will be held at facilities provided by MFA members and offered locally to a wide variety of healthcare providers. See www.acsm.org for more information.
  • The Hagerstown, Md., PONYTM Softball/Baseball League won the "Groundskeeper for a Day" raffle sponsored by Profile Products and Turface Athletics. As the winner, the league received field maintenance tips from Larry DiVito, head groundskeeper for Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals.

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And the Survey Said
In response to last month's Quick Question, nearly two-thirds of respondents said their departments do not operate spraygrounds

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