Often, the things that it takes to put on a successful event are not just the things we see: the athletes, the spectators and the facilities. Sometimes, it goes beyond that. In this issue, we'll examine several things that might be largely invisible -- yet totally essential. The first is the value of a sports event to a community. We can talk about economic impact, but there's more to it than that. There's the civic pride, the morale boost that comes from a successful event and the ancillary benefit of spectators who become volunteers, and volunteers who become athletes.
Planning a sports event -- of any type -- demands a number of skills outside of an understanding of our chosen sport. We need to understand negotiations, budgeting, logistics and the intricacies of travel arrangements -- and that's just for starters. One of the great things about this industry the body of knowledge that surrounds us in the presence of our colleagues.
Athletes, in addition to being spokespersons, celebrities and more, have the sometimes difficult job of being role models. It's not always easy, but it can pay dividends by helping to instill good values in the generation coming up through the ranks.
This month’s issue contains a great article on “Engaging the Community in Sports Events,” and I’m pleased to see an emphasis on the positive interaction between athletes and communities. Since our athletes may also be traveling abroad and competing in other countries at some point, it’s essential they be good role models there as well. The article on passports and visas can help organizations have the right paperwork ready when travel time comes.
This summer's Olympic Games in London will put a spotlight on the very best the sporting world has to offer. Athletes might win gold medals and glory, but for our industry, it translates into something a lot more valuable and lasting: increased participation. There is a positive correlation between extensive media coverage of the Olympics and people showing an interest in being more active and taking an interest in a given sport that year or the next. I'm pleased to see the insights this issue gives us into some of the sports the Olympics will offer.
As more and more individuals with mobility limitations take advantage of the recreation options available to them, the need to keep to have open, accessible events will keep on growing. Making your event not just friendly but downright welcoming to athletes and spectators with mobility limitations can mean an athlete not only returns next time, but brings family and friends. This issue's feature will provide some inside information from an industry expert who knows how to make that happen.
As the business of sports continues to evolve, sports themselves do as well. In this issue, we take a look at what is needed to provide great facilities for athletes with developmental challenges. Hint: It goes a lot deeper than just following ADA rules, and it applies to your event, no matter whether you're working with traditional competitive athletics or performance sports (like gymnastics or cheerleading).