Emily Attwood
Emily (emily@athleticbusiness.com) joined the Athletic Business team in 2011, a natural transition from her previous work at PFP (Personal Fitness Professional), a B2B fitness industry brand, and Inside Wisconsin Sports, a consumer sports publication. AB’s managing editor by day, Emily spends her nights typing away at what she hopes will someday turn into a novel that other people will find worth reading. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Emily continues to enjoy living in the city with her husband, Derek, and biking to work, except during winter, when she doesn't enjoy much of anything.
  • Thursday, June, 26, 2014
    Boy’s Drowning Sparks Call for Age Restriction Changes

    How young is too young to be swimming alone at a public pool? That is the question being asked in Cincinnati following the drowning of a 10-year-old boy last week. The boy was unresponsive when lifeguards pulled him from the pool at Bush Recreation Center and began emergency response procedures. He was transported to a local hospital, where he died over the weekend. 


  • Wednesday, June, 18, 2014
    Adaptive Sports Programs Aiding Recovery for Military

    Last month, the sixth annual Warrior Games took place at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., a departure from its previous host city, Colorado Springs. While past games have been organized in partnership between the Department of Defense and U.S. Paralympics, the DOD took the lead in organizing this year's event and will continue to do so, with different branches of the military hosting each year. As noted by a department spokesperson, the change was part of the DOD's effort "to better align the event with the Games' core mission of playing a vital role in recovery for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans."


  • Wednesday, June, 18, 2014
    New Projects: ODU Practice Facility | McNiff Fitness Center

    Breaking Ground


  • Monday, June, 16, 2014
    Six Steps to Creating an Aquatic Preventive Maintenance Plan

    As summer temperatures climb across the country, so too does attendance at recreational pools. Especially for seasonal-use pools, the apex of summer presents a peak in revenues. It's also about the worst possible time to have to shut down for unexpected repairs. But for facilities with a preventive-maintenance plan in place, it's nothing to sweat over.


  • Monday, June, 16, 2014
    AB's Architectural Showcase a Yearlong Affair

    The Architectural Showcase in June is the one issue of Athletic Business I look forward to most each year. It's also the issue I spend most of each year working on.


  • Monday, June, 16, 2014
    Tips to Increase the Eco-Efficiency of an Athletic Laundry Facility

    Working in an athletic laundry facility is a complicated job. Anyone working in such an environment can attest to the headache caused just by athletic uniforms, which have become anything but uniform. "You probably have five different materials on a typical athletic uniform now," says Bill Brook, North American sales manager for Ripon, Wis.-based UniMac. "I've been dealing with an NFL uniform with five different fabrics. To get paint out of a uniform with five different fabrics requires a complicated wash cycle and chemical needs."


  • Friday, June, 13, 2014
    New Projects: Beauchamp Rec and Wellness | Rogers Place Arena

    Breaking Ground

    After seven years of planning and fundraising, the University of Portland breaks ground this month on its Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center. The project will be triple the size of the existing Howard Hall, constructed in 1927. The $23 million facility, scheduled to open in fall of 2015, will feature three gymnasiums; spaces for group exercise, cardio and strength training; an indoor track; a climbing wall and a wellness suite. The design, by 360 Architecture of Kansas City, Mo., also incorporates infrastructure for a possible second phase, which would include a pool should funding become available.


  • Tuesday, June, 10, 2014
    Five Injured by Falling Batting Cage in Gym

    It wasn’t the action on the court that got fans’ hearts pumping at a high school summer volleyball match held at Goshen College Recreational-Fitness Center in Indiana this past Monday.


  • Wednesday, June, 04, 2014
    Keeping College Athletic Laundry Operations Running Smoothly

    Penn State University has eight of them. The University of Alabama has nine. The University of Wisconsin recently renovated its largest, and the University of Michigan breaks ground on a new facility this summer.


  • Tuesday, May, 20, 2014
    Plastic Bottle Initiative Helping to Green Athletic Facilities

    For years, Americans have been encouraged to decrease our consumption of bottled water and use reusable beverage containers, cutting down on the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills. Despite the efforts of various sustainability campaigns, the Beverage Marketing Corporation reported that bottled water consumption reached an all-time high in 2012 when Americans consumed 9.7 million gallons of water, 65 percent of that in the form of single-use disposable bottles.


  • Friday, June, 19, 2015
    A Response to Critics of Soaring College Rec Spending

    “LSU Faces Dramatic Budget Cuts While It Builds An Expensive Lounging Pool” This was the headline of an article that appeared in The Huffington Post this past May criticizing Louisiana State University’s spending of $84.75 million on an overhaul of its recreation facilities despite a threatened $55.5 million funding cut from the state.

    Last week New Jersey governor Chris Christie admonished what he considers wasteful spending in the higher education system, denouncing “extras” such as lazy rivers and climbing walls.

    "Some colleges are drunk on cash and embarking on crazy spending binges,” he said.

    If you work in college recreation, the incidents made you cringe.

    The cost of higher education is going to get a lot of attention leading up to the 2016 election, and unfortunately, that’s going to come with a lot of misguided scrutiny of campus recreation programs.

    What both incidents overlook — as anyone working in college recreation will immediately recognize — is that a university’s education budget and recreation budget are two entirely different things. Campus recreation centers are not built at the expense of science labs or classrooms. For most universities, such projects are funded (and maintained) from students fees.

    "The funds for the project come directly from the student fee and can only be used for the project," LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard told The Huffington Post. "Similar to donations to the university or funds from the state for capital projects, these types of funds can't be shifted to fill in budget holes or be used in another way. They can only be used for what they were originally designated for."

    The impact of such facilities on the price of a college education is actually minimal, according to David Feldman, economics professor at College of William & Mary.

    “Lazy rivers are only a tiny piece of the costs,” he told Inside Higher Ed. “These lazy rivers are not the reason why student debt is soaring seemingly out of control. The big problem that higher education faces today, at the public side, is cuts in state spending.”

    Some argue that cuts in spending are actually driving the construction of bigger and better recreation amenities, as universities look draw in more out of state students. According to research from the University of Michigan, “wealthier students [are] much more willing to pay for consumption amenities.”

    Despite its negative headline, The Huffington Post article went on to admit as much, quoting a 2013 article in which former Miami University president James Garland explains, “We took advantage of low interest rates for municipal bonds and invested in rehabilitating our residence halls and eating facilities and putting in more recreation -- workout rooms and lounges, and the kinds of accouterments that really dressed up a campus and made it a much more comfortable and familiar place for upper-middle class students. So those students started applying to us in droves. Application numbers went up, we became more selective, and the SAT scores of the entering class became higher."

    So, in the face of a $55.5 million budget cut (avoided, thankfully) LSU would need to rely more heavily on the appeal of its non-academic offerings to bring in more students and more revenue. As Jane Wellman, a finance expert with College Futures Foundation, told Inside Higher Ed, the issue is not of how colleges spend money, but the priorities of schools.

    “The sense is that college costs are going up too rapidly, and institutions aren’t doing enough to control them,” she says. “The critique underneath that is the critique of the decision-making culture in higher education.”

    Rather than ask why LSU would spend $85 million on a recreation center, maybe politicians should be asking why the state of Louisiana was mulling a $55 million cut to education.

    We won’t get into the other complexities of campus recreation facilities, such as the positive economic impact of construction (According to NIRSA, $1.7B was spent on 157 recreation construction projects in 2012), the employment opportunities afforded to students, the educational programming opportunities, the importance of recreation to students' quality of life (and GPA), the role in building a schools’ reputation, or any number of issues.

    Unfortunately, neither will the politicians pinning the climbing costs of higher education on climbing walls.

     


  • Monday, June, 16, 2014
    AB's Architectural Showcase a Yearlong Affair

    The Architectural Showcase in June is the one issue of Athletic Business I look forward to most each year. It's also the issue I spend most of each year working on.


  • Friday, April, 04, 2014
    Blog: Wine at the Gym? I’ll Drink to That

    Cardio equipment? Check. Towel service? Check. Group exercise schedule? Check. Liquor license? Pending.


  • Thursday, February, 27, 2014
    Blog: Let Them Eat Cake, If They So Choose

    On Tuesday, the White House announced a series of new initiatives as part of the fourth anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” program. Many of them are a great step forward in the battle against childhood obesity and inactivity, including an expansion of the school breakfast program and a five-year partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association and Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide 5 million children with healthy snacks and physical activity opportunities after school. 


  • Monday, January, 13, 2014
    Blog: Women-Only Fitness Zones Perpetuate Stereotypes

    Here at AB, it’s the editors’ job to stay on top of what’s happening in the industries we serve. As such, last Friday I came across an article about a gym in Vancouver getting some flak for its decision to close its women-only section. 


  • Thursday, October, 10, 2013
    Blog: If You Can't Beat 'Em… Beat 'Em Up!

    I was sitting in a hotel lobby surrounded by other people when I opened up my morning news alerts and saw an article announcing the Kentucky High School Athletic Associations' decision to suspend post-game handshakes, so I had to keep my disgust to a minimum - a casual eye roll and understated sigh. Seriously? These athletes are displaying poor sportsmanship, and the solution to that is to do away with the concept? That's like dropping math from the curriculum because the students aren't getting it.


  • Friday, September, 20, 2013
    Blog: Defending "The Slowest Generation"

    Friday afternoon, when I should have been hard at work on AB's November issue, I instead found myself fuming over an article from Thursday's Wall Street Journal sent to me by our company owner. The article deemed younger athletes "The Slowest Generation," and accused my generation of being too apathetic about performance and competition.