Feature Article - June 2010
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A Look at Trends in Community Recreation & Sports Centers


The top concern among respondents from community centers was marketing and increasing participation at their facilities. Central to that mission is programming that will keep patrons coming back for more. The top programs currently offered by community center respondents' facilities fell fairly close to the average for all facilities, with slightly more than average offering mind-body/balance and active older adult programs.

The top 10 programs included in these facilities were: holiday events and special events; fitness programs; mind-body/balance programs; day camps and summer camps; youth sports teams; educational programs; active older adult programs; sports tournaments and races; swimming programs; and adult sports teams.

While their current program lineup is very similar to the across-the-board numbers, the programs community center respondents are planning to add over the next three years differed from the norm. For example, while more than one-third (36.4 percent) of community center respondents with plans to add programs are planning to add nutrition and diet counseling to their lineup, only 18.3 percent of all respondents with plans to add programs will be adding nutrition and diet counseling.

The top 10 programs community centers were planning to add include:

  1. Nutrition and diet counseling
  2. Teen programs
  3. Mind-body balance programs
  4. Fitness programs
  5. Educational programs
  6. Individual sports activities like running clubs or swim clubs
  7. Active older adult programs
  8. Sport training, such as golf instruction or tennis lessons
  9. Day camps and summer camps
  10. Sports tournaments and races