Feature Article - June 2008
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A Look at What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

Among YMCAs, YWCAs and JCCs, the top programs, included by more than 90 percent of respondents, included day camps and summer camps and fitness programs. More than 80 percent also said their facilities offered swimming programs, holidays and special events, programs for active older adults, personal training, youth sports teams, mind-body balance programs, aquatic exercise programs and programs designed to reach teens.

Some of the programs that respondents said they were most likely to add over the next three years will simply offer patrons more of the same, including holidays and special events, day camps, fitness programs and so on. Others seem designed to meet the growing needs of an aging population with a growing waistband. The top 10 programs respondents across the board said they are planning to add to their offerings in the next three years include:

  • Programs for active older adults
  • Day camps and summer camps
  • Nutrition and diet counseling
  • Educational programs
  • Holidays and other special events
  • Fitness programs
  • Environmental education
  • Sports tournaments and races
  • Mind-body balance
  • Individual sports activities

The number-one slot for parks and recreation respondents was filled by programming for active older adults, followed by environmental education and adult sports teams. For colleges and universities, top new programs planned for the next three years include personal training, nutrition and diet counseling and fitness—all programs that should serve students well to build good habits that they may have missed out on as kids. For schools and school districts, the top new programs planned for the next three years include educational programs, youth sports teams and fitness programs. Among health clubs, the top additions will include nutrition and diet counseling, fitness programs and individual sports activities. YMCAs are planning similar additions, with the top new programs over the next three years including nutrition and diet counseling, individual sports activities and performing arts.