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

Local schools were the most likely partner for this year's respondents. More than half said they had formed a partnership with local schools. Slightly less than half (46.1 percent) said they had partnered with nonprofit organizations—a number that has not changed much from last year's survey. Similar numbers were also reported for corporate and local business partnerships (38 percent), college and university partnerships (31.6 percent), partnerships with health care and medical facilities (19.3 percent), YMCA partnerships (17.1 percent), partnerships with the military (10.6 percent) and partnerships with private health clubs, which were once again the least likely partner for our respondents, just 3.7 percent reporting that they had partnered with private health clubs. (See Figure 7.)

Respondents to this year's survey were less likely than last year's to report partnering with government institutions and agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Nearly 17 percent fewer respondents this year said they partnered with state government. Similarly, 10 percent fewer said they had partnered with local government agencies, and 7 percent fewer reported partnering with the federal government.

YMCAs, YWCAs and JCCs were again the most likely facility type to form partnerships with external organizations. Last year, 100 percent of YMCA respondents said they had partnered with external facilities, while this year, 96.5 percent of these respondents reported forming such partnerships. Parks and recreation departments were also highly likely to form partnerships with other organizations, with 92.7 percent of respondents from these facilities reporting they had done so.

The only upward trend seen in the tendency of organizations to partner was among respondents working for health and fitness clubs. Last year, just 67.9 percent of these professionals said their facility had partnered with external organizations, while this year, nearly 80 percent reported such partnering, a jump of more than 10 percent. (See Figure 8.)