• 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.

  • Blog: 9/11 Anniversary Run A Fitting Tribute

    by Mary Helen Sprecher September 2011

    The 10-year anniversary of 9/11 has prompted a lot of memorial services, days of remembrance and other commemorations coming up. The fact that Sept. 11 this year falls on a Sunday means that a lot of people who might otherwise have to work can participate.

  • 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.

  • Blog: Getting the Bocce Ball Rolling

    by Mary Helen Sprecher July 2011

    The way some people are about trying the newest wine bar or restaurant? I'm that way about sports. If you offer an open house or a chance to try something new, I'm there. And while I haven't stuck with everything I tried (I was epically bad at curling, for instance), I'm always grateful for the opportunity to investigate another activity.

  • 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: Hook Rec Program Participants with Fishing

    by Mary Helen Sprecher May 2011

    We're perched on the edge of another summer, and while that surely means Little League games and days at the pool, it also brings an opportunity to get kids outside and involved in another activity: fishing.