• Blog: Parks and Rec Programs Are, Well, Wonderful

    by Mary Helen Sprecher June 2012

    Last year, the National Recreation and Park Association brought us "Rock Your Park" as the theme for July, designated as Park and Recreation Month. This year, with the countdown to the end of the school year going strong among kids, NRPA has released its new campaign, "GET WILD about parks."

  • Communities Find Solutions to Sports Field Shortages

    by Emily Attwood April 2012

    A dedicated push by communities across the country to get youths off the couch and out playing appears to be paying off.

  • Blog: Obstacles to Serving Obstacle Racers

    by Mary Helen Sprecher April 2012

    Like skinny jeans and Ugg boots, fitness goes through trends. And just as with skinny jeans and Ugg boots, those trends aren't for everyone. Discerning individuals recognize that. Those who aren't discerning become fashion victims, or in this case, fitness victims.

  • Blog: NGB Drops the Ball on 'Try Our Sport Month'

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2012

    The other day, I was doing some research for an article, and happened to be on the website of a national governing body. I'm leaving the sport nameless, because a) I don't want to point fingers, and b) I know this particular NGB doesn't own the patent on this type of screw-up.

  • Sprint Football is Witnessing a Growth Spurt

    by Paul Steinbach March 2012

    Bruce Kirsh has been associated with Franklin Pierce University for more than four decades as a student-athlete, coach and administrator.

  • Recreation Departments Restructure to Maximize Efficiency

    by Emily Attwood February 2012

    Cities and recreation departments have been slashing services and staff, struggling to operate within their budgets without sacrificing programs.

  • ABC 2011: Stop Bullying in Youth Sports

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor December 2011

    Youth sports in 2011 is full of way too much anger, selfishness, win-at-all-costs attitude and poor sportsmanship on the part of players, coaches and parents. So says Andrew Zitoli, principal of Millis (Mass.) Middle School, who was on a mission Friday morning at the Athletic Business Conference in Orlando, Fla., to change the culture of youth sports by addressing bullying. Stopping bullying, he reasoned, would go a long way toward eliminating some of the other problems facing youth sports today.

  • ABC 2011: Counting Up the Costs of Recreation Programs

    by Andrew Cohen December 2011

    Striding up and down the aisle of his packed seminar room, Chris Nunes is talking about "Budgets, Cost Recovery and Pricing in Action" and asking Athletic Business Conference attendees to back up what he's saying by comparing their experiences with his own. Everybody's nodding; they've been there. The director of parks and recreation for The Woodlands Township in Texas, Nunes has in the first 20 minutes committed to memory where various members of his audience work. As he talks, he addresses them as "Nova Scotia," "Dallas" or "Phillips Exeter," as in, "Will that work, Phillips Exeter?" When he asks that last question of an audience member, the answer is bound to be no. Nunes' habit of acquainting himself with his audience helps him drive the point home repeatedly that what's going to fly in his Texas park district, where the property of every home owner abuts one of the master-planned community's 121 parks, might not get airborne in the Canadian Maritimes.

  • 2011 Excellence in Youth Sports Award Winner: Kaiserslautern Military Community Youth Sports and Fitness Program (Germany)

    by NAYS Staff November 2011

    For the youth sports staff at Germany's Kaiserslautern Military Community Youth Sports and Fitness Program, winning the 2011 Excellence in Youth Sports Award is the result of perseverance. "We have been trying for five years to win this prestigious award, and we finally did it," says Allen Fleming, youth sports director at KMC. In 2010, the program received Honorable Mention recognition for the award that is presented annually by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Athletic Business. It recognizes five youth sports programs across the country that are doing superior jobs of conducting diverse activities with a focus on providing safe and positive experiences for all participants, including children, parents and coaches.

  • 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.