Feature Article - June 2013
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Schools & School Districts

A Look at Trends in Schools & School Districts


As in past years, youth sports teams continue to dominate as the programming most commonly found among school respondents' facilities. Some 82.8 percent of school respondents in 2013 indicated that youth sports teams are among their program offerings.

Other common programs among school respondents include: educational programs (67.8 percent); sports tournaments or races (54.5 percent); fitness programs (53.2 percent); sport training (39.9 percent); individual sports activities such as running or swim clubs (39.9 percent); performing arts programs such as theater and dance (35.6 percent); swimming programs (35.2 percent); holiday events and other special events (34.8 percent); and special needs programs (33 percent).

Programs that saw growth from 2012 include: youth sports teams (up from 78 percent); and fitness programs (up from 52.5 percent).

Some 16.9 percent of school respondents reported that they have plans to add programming over the next three years. This is an increase from 2012, when 12.3 percent had such plans. However, it is much lower than the 31.9 percent of non-school respondents who plan to add programming.

The top planned programs among school respondents include:

  1. Fitness programs (no change from 2012)
  2. Youth sports teams (did not appear in 2012)
  3. Mind-body/balance (no change)
  4. Educational programs (down from No. 2)
  5. Sport-specific training (did not appear in 2012)
  6. Sports tournaments or races (up from No. 7)
  7. Adult sport teams (did not appear in 2012)
  8. Individual sports activities (no change)
  9. Day camps/summer camps (no change)
  10. Festivals and concerts (did not appear in 2012)

While fitness remains at the top of the list for another year, there are many programs among the top 10 that did not appear in 2012, including: youth sports teams; sport-specific training; adult sports teams; and festivals and concerts. These programs replaced holiday events, swimming programs, aquatic exercise programs, and programs for active older adults, which dropped off the list this year.