• 2011 Excellence in Youth Sports Award Winner: Town of Westport (Conn.) Parks and Recreation Department

    by NAYS Staff November 2011

    For the Town of Westport (Conn.) Parks and Recreation Department, winning the Excellence in Youth Sports Award not only recognizes the work of its staff, but also the longstanding relationships with several community youth sports providers that are crucial to offering quality youth sports to local children. "While the department has led the effort to make youth sports a safe and positive experience in Westport, it could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of the providers themselves," says Karen Puskas, program manager at the Town of Westport Parks and Recreation Department.

  • 2011 Excellence in Youth Sports Award Winner: Marine Corps Community Services Cherry Point Youth Sports (N.C.)

    by NAYS Staff November 2011

    Despite only having a staff of two, the youth sports program at Marine Corps Community Services Cherry Point (N.C.) is striving to change the current youth sports landscape into a more child-friendly environment that stresses exercise, discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship. "We are passionate about having a hand in making those changes," said David Guthrie, youth sports director at MCCS Cherry Point Youth Sports. "We know that change has to start at home."

  • 2011 Excellence in Youth Sports Award Winner: Village of Evendale (Ohio) Recreation Department

    by NAYS Staff November 2011

    Youngsters from the Village of Evendale (Ohio) sign up for the recreation department's youth sports programs to learn a variety of sports skills and have fun participating in games with their friends and teammates. But they also gain a greater appreciation of good sportsmanship, thanks to the efforts of staff and volunteers. "We believe that we are making a difference in the lives of our youths by instilling good sportsmanship behavior and teaching all participants the skills they need to advance," says Kristen Maiden, program supervisor for Evendale Recreation. "That, in turn, will impact the rest of their lives."

  • 2011 Facility of Merit Winner: Drexel University Recreation Center

    by Andrew Cohen October 2011

    A recreational addition to the windowless 1960s-era Daskalakis Athletic Center, the Drexel University Recreation Center forms an integrated sports facility in a legible new center of collegiate and community activity. Its new face to the Philadelphia streetscape - primarily its south-facing window wall of clear and colored laminated glazing, augmented by metal and wood panels - engages the street with multiple points of access and transparency that showcases the interior activities. The faceted glassy facade evokes Drexel's blue and gold insignia colors and features a random series of undulating bays that define individual user spaces within the larger communal environment of the fitness floor. The color scheme and showcase of activity even spills outside, with an outdoor plaza suitable for diverse functions such as dance, aerobics and commencement featuring a blue and gold permeable rubberized surface.

  • 2011 Facility of Merit Winner: California State University, East Bay, Recreation & Wellness Center

    by Andrew Cohen October 2011

    Described as the last piece to the campus life puzzle at California State University, East Bay, the Recreation & Wellness Center was purposely located at the edge of the academic zone and across the street from student housing, effectively becoming a transitional space between the two. Providing what one judge called "a strong visual identity through the use of strong forms and bold color," the building's most recognizable exterior element is an aluminum perforated screen veil devised to minimize direct sunlight, diffuse daylight and maximize vistas to San Francisco Bay. This is both an aesthetic touch and symbolic of the building's (and campus') broader mission of sustainability. The roof plane is shaped to funnel all rainwater to a series of bioswales, where a combination of native plants and climate-appropriate species absorb 100 percent of all storm water, avoiding city storm-drain systems. In addition, a ventilated trombe wall allows for passive heating of the gymnasium by capturing the sun's heat within the exposed western-facing concrete wall and glazing assembly, which then radiates into the gym during the night. In all, 70 percent of interior spaces are naturally ventilated and passively heated, which eliminated the need for active mechanical heating or cooling systems.

  • Team Sports Participation Up Among 13-, 14-Year-Olds

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor September 2011

    The growth in youth team sports since 2009 is now being fueled by America's 13- and 14-year-olds. That's just one of the key findings of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's annual participation study on team sports, "U.S. Trends in Team Sports." In 2010, sports participation among 13- and 14-year olds increased 22 percent and 14 percent, respectively, versus 2009.

  • Columbus, Ohio, Seeks to Keep Teens Off the Streets

    by Emily Attwood September 2011

    The opening day of the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee had all the elements normally associated with state fairs - hot weather, carnival rides and games, and barns filled with cows.

  • Slow-Pitch Softball's Participation Decline Challenges Rec Professionals

    by Paul Steinbach July 2011

    The end didn't come all that suddenly. In its glory years, the Jock's Nitch Softball Classic drew 140 slow-pitch teams to Pittsburg, Kan., for three days of camaraderie and competition.

  • Recreation Department Is First to Require Concussion Testing

    by Joe Bush July 2011

    Vinny Ciurciu, a linebacker for the NFL's Detroit Lions, suffered two concussions during the 2010 season. He sat out two games after the first one, and then a glancing blow to the head on his return was all it took to trigger renewed symptoms.

  • Blog: In Search of a New St. Patrick's Day Tradition

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2011

    St. Patrick's Day is on the horizon, meaning that soon, a huge number of people will feel compelled to immerse themselves in what they fervently believe is a great example of the Irish culture.