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Blog: Beach Sports Beckon Spring-Breakers

The great pre-bathing suit rush is on in college rec centers. It's a sure sign of spring: The New Year's Resolution crowd might have waned, but the kids preparing for spring break are there, helping fill up any empty spots on the fitness floor.

While it's already an opportunity for fitness center operators to get new members and market their programs, it can also translate into a different kind of advantage. Namely, it's a great chance for beach-centric sports to start increasing their visibility to a whole new group of potential players. college students. Beach tennis is played on sand volleyball courts using paddles and a ball that is less pressurized than a standard tennis ball. And then there's sand soccer, a game whose basic rules are already familiar to a lot of kids out there today. A number of organizations host leagues and competitions in order to promote the sport, including Beach Soccer Worldwide, American Beach Soccer and the United States Beach Soccer Federation.

These are by no means the only sports played at the beach (Beach Ultimate, anyone?), but they're some prime examples, and each one stands to benefit from the influx of spring breakers. Local clubs and organizations that support sand sports, particularly those organizations that are already located in oceanfront areas, ought to embrace this golden opportunity to hold some exhibition games and free clinics to teach kids the rules and see about setting up friendly matches between groups from various schools. And hey, it promotes healthy aerobic activity, unlike drinking beer and lying around, two of the more well known and less desirable traditions of spring break.

Students who have been turned on to a sport can take their interest back to campus and help form their own clubs and intramural activities. Even those who aren't returning to a warm-weather area can take back something: the potential to increase student interest in Ultimate or volleyball or something else. Any way you look at it, it's a great souvenir.

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