December 2018

Goldfish Swim School Sponsors USA Swimming Foundation

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people drown in the United States each day. The most at risk group for drownings are children of low-income families who have little access to formal swimming lessons. Goldfish Swim School Franchising and the USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming, hope to change this trend with a new partnership to bring affordable swim lessons to those in need.

Physical Activity for Kids Gets Low Grade

When it comes to physical activity for children and youths, a recent report provided a disappointing score of D-. The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance’s recent 2018 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth aims to assist teachers, parents, health professionals, community leaders and more as they implement policies, initiatives and programs that are designed to increase physical activity levels and provide accountability.

New Law Helps Sports Medicine Professionals & Athletes

Sports medicine practitioners and athletic trainers are important professionals in helping athletes stay healthy. And now, those professionals can work across state lines with liability protections following a new law signed by President Donald Trump in October.

November 2018

Outdoor Recreation Adds Billions to U.S. Economy

In our era of constantly evolving technology and smart devices, it’s nice to know that the outdoor recreation industry is growing too, as more people are heading outside for leisure and adventure. A recent report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on the outputs from outdoor recreation shows that outdoor recreation now accounts for 2.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). The report states that more than $734 billion is contributed by outdoor recreation to the total U.S. gross output.

Nearly $1 Million in Pool Grants Awarded

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently awarded five Pool Safely grants to help combat pool and spa drowning and drain entrapments. The CPSC chose five state and local governments to receive almost $1 million in Pool Safely Grant Program (PSGP) funds, which will provide recipients with assistance for enforcement, training and education of pool safety requirements that are intended to save lives and prevent serious injuries.

Report: One in Four Americans Use a Health Club

"U.S. health club membership reached an all-time high in 2017, attracting 60.9 million members, an increase of 6.3 percent from 2016,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Another 9.1 million non-members exercised at clubs. In all, nearly one in four Americans use a health club to pursue fitness and wellness goals."

New Active Transportation Program Aims to Boost Health & Environment

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and ecoAmerica have joined forces on a new active transportation program to help support the health of Americans and the climate. The partnership will combine ACSM’s vision to promote active transportation and related health co-benefits with ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health program.

October 2018

Foundation Celebrates Sports Innovations

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently announced the finalists for the 2018 Sports Award, which recognizes organizations, individuals and professional teams that incorporate innovative and collaborative approaches to improve the health of their communities through sport. Some of these efforts include creating more opportunities for kids living in poverty, promoting exercise and healthy eating habits, creating safe play environments, and working to stop abuse, bullying and violence.

Grant Awarded to Chattanooga Nature Play Area

Grant funding in the amount of $150,000 is being awarded to support a local nature-based play area in Chattanooga, Tenn. The money is being granted by the American Water Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by American Water, and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Obesity Continues to Challenge America's Health

The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released their 15th annual “State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America” report, which tracks the latest obesity trends. The report also recommends actions necessary to fight obesity, and highlights programs, policies, strategies and practices aimed at fighting this epidemic.

Grant Program Funds Keep America Beautiful Initiatives

Nonprofit Keep America Beautiful has received an additional $1 million this year from home improvement company Lowe’s, aimed at funding grassroots initiatives dedicated to improving public spaces, as well as the nonprofit’s annual Great American Cleanup.

Nation's Pediatricians Emphasize Power of Play

With schools putting the crunch on recess, gym classes and extra-curricular sports, and with out-of-school time dominated by screens and television, the American Academy of Pediatrics is emphasizing the value of play to help children reduce stress, build relationships and more. A new clinical report, “The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children” includes new information linking play and learning.

September 2018

Step Into Swim Continues to Create New Swimmers

The National Swimming Pool Foundation’s Step Into Swim campaign—a 10-year initiative that aims to create 1 million more swimmers—recently announced its most recent grant recipients for 2018.

Pickleball Benefits Older Adults

Pickleball, a game that combines badminton, tennis and table tennis, provides a number of health benefits—in the form of cardiovascular and metabolic responses for older adults. This is according to new research by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), which showed that pickleball enables older adults to maintain their fitness levels, leading to increased independence even as they age.

NSPF Endorses MAHC Adoption

All state, territory and local health departments, aquatic facilities, and the aquatics industry at large should evaluate and adopt all or part of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), according to a recent position statement from the nonprofit National Swimming Pool Foundation. The goal of such adoption would be protecting not only aquatic staff and patrons, but the facilities themselves.

Cities Spend More on Public Parks in 2018

Newly released data from The Trust for Public Land shows that public spending on parks in the 100 largest U.S. cities increased by 6 percent in 2018, from $7.1 billion to $7.5 billion. Combined with $500 million from public/private park partnerships, total park spending reached $8 billion in this past fiscal year. Still, there is significant work to be done to provide access to parks, as 30 percent of people do not live within a 10-minute walk of a park.

August 2018

Be Ready for Back-to-School Sports

Hard to believe, but it’s already back-to-school time, which also means that young athletes are getting back to training, practicing and competing. And many parents are once again concerned for their kids’ safety. Recently, sports medicine and orthopaedic experts from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) hosted an event titled “Fall Forecast: Settling the Youth Sports Safety Score.” Panelists shared new study findings and discussed injury prevention and management.

NRPA, Pool Safely Partner on Water & Recreation Safety

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is partnering with Pool Safely, a national public education campaign from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), to promote the importance of water safety at park and recreation facilities nationwide. As a partner with this campaign, NRPA encourages park and recreation professionals, along with parents, caregivers and children, to take the Pool Safely Pledge, a call-to-action for adults and kids everywhere to commit to taking certain steps to be safe in the water.

States Make Progress Toward Active Transportation

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the Y have teamed up to update state report cards that highlight how states are investing transportation dollars, committing resources and establishing policies to support walkable communities.

IHRSA Briefing Looks at Club Employees vs. Contractors

IHRSA Briefing Papers cover such topics as injury liability, harassment, employment law and keeping kids safe in your club. And now the latest topic, Independent Contractors, provides information for club operators who are wondering if hiring an employee or an independent contractor best suits their business needs. The paper also advises on avoiding legal fees that could result from misclassification of workers.

July 2018

ACSM & Wellcoaches Expand Offerings for Fitness Pros

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Wellcoaches Corp. have announced the expansion of their 16-year partnership with two newly co-branded programs in coach training and behavior change.

Grants Help Local Trail Projects

Local trail projects are receiving funding to help with trail maintenance, trail building and community engagement projects nationwide. Recipients of the 2018 Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund grants were announced recently by the Rails-to-Trails (RTC) Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

Grant to Boost Meals & Nutrition for Kids

Through a $1.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to the National Recreation and Park Association, kids in a handful of states will see more healthy meals during out-of-school time, along with better access to nutrition education and healthy living practices.

Trust for Public Land Releases ParkServe Database

The Trust for Public Land recently launched ParkServe, which provides free and straightforward access to a comprehensive database of American parks. This site is part of Trust for Public Land’s movement to put a park or natural area within a 10-minute walk of every American. Containing information for 14,000 cities, ParkServe shows users what areas have access to parks within a 10-minute walk and suggests areas for new parks. The Trust for Public Land recently launched ParkServe, which provides free and straightforward access to a comprehensive database of American parks. This site is part of Trust for Public Land’s movement to put a park or natural area within a 10-minute walk of every American. Containing information for 14,000 cities, ParkServe shows users what areas have access to parks within a 10-minute walk and suggests areas for new parks.

CPSC Asks for Vigilance to Prevent Child Drowning

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported in May that fatal child drowning incidents in swimming pools that involve children younger than 5 have not increased much from last year’s reports. However, fatal and nonfatal child incidents in pools and spas continue to pose a public health risk across the United States. Ann Marie Buerkle, the CPSC’s acting chairman, is urging vigilance while children are in and around the water this summer.

June 2018

TPL Earns NEA Grant to Explore Creative Placemaking

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently awarded a $75,000 grant to the Trust for Public Land (TPL), in partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), to be used to identify ways to introduce placed-based arts practices within county, city and local public health agencies.

High Visa Denial Rates Could Affect Pools

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) expressed concern leading up to Memorial Day that many commercial pools and spas might be delayed in opening for the season along the East Coast, and especially in the Mid-Atlantic region, due to an unprecedented number of visa denials. Affected pools are those that supplement their American lifeguard workforce by recruiting lifeguards internationally through the Summer Work and Travel Exchange Visitor Program.

Make a Splash Campaign Teaches Millions to Swim

Recently, the USA Swimming Foundation announced that they’d achieved their goal of providing swim lessons to 1 million children in 2017 via the Make a Splash initiative, bringing the total number of kids served to more than 6 million in the past 10 years.

Communities Can Earn Grants for Dog Park Development

More communities will have a chance to receive a grant to build a new dog park or enhance their existing local dog park. PetSafe, a manufacturer of innovative pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle product solutions, has increased the number of $25,000 grants for the construction of new parks from five to eight. In addition to the grants for new dog park construction, five communities will receive $5,000 grants to enhance their local dog parks.

May 2018

National Golf Day Celebrates Green Practices

National Golf Day took place April 25, a day when leaders in the industry join together to celebrate the benefits of golf. The golf industry generates nearly $70 billion in economic impact annually, generates around $4 billion in charitable giving and impacts close to 2 million American jobs.

YMCA Recognized for Diversity

Forbes magazine recently recognized the YMCA as one of America's best employers for diversity. The YMCA, a nonprofit organization that is committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, was recognized as part of Forbes' first-ever America's Best Employers for Diversity list, which ranks the top of 250 diverse employers across all industries in the United States. The Y placed 15th on the list, overall, and is the top ranked community-based organization.

Americans Support Pollinator Health, And Parks Can Help

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recently conducted a poll of Americans about pollinator conservation. About 94 percent of all American’s agree that the promotion of pollinator health should be a priority across the United States, with the highest support coming from the Western and Northwestern regions of the country.

April 2018

How to Encourage Play—Everywhere!

KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing all kids—particularly those living in poverty—with safe and engaging places to play, recently compiled the Play Everywhere Playbook, a comprehensive guidebook aimed at assisting cities and neighborhoods with implementing Play Everywhere projects in their communities and neighborhoods. These projects turn under-utilized and everyday spaces into fun community hubs, while encouraging community safety and social interaction.

Partnership, Grants to Boost Mountain Bike Trail Development

A new partnership between the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the Walton Family Foundation will bring more trails to communities across the United States—through new Trail Labs educational programming and matching Trail Accelerator grants.

Parks & Recreation Supports More Than 1.1 Million Jobs

It's long been known that public parks add significant value to their communities in terms of conservation, health and wellness, and social equity. People and communities all over the United States benefit directly from their local park and recreation agencies, which provide open spaces for exercise, gathering places, locations for community sports and a place to reconnect with nature. But what many may not know is that public parks are also machines of economic activity.

Club Pilates Grows With New Training Facility

Early in the 20th century, Joseph Pilates, from Germany, developed a system of exercises that were intended to strengthen the human mind and body, as he believed that mental and physical health were interrelated. When he founded his studio in New York City, some of his first clients were ballet dancers looking to control their movements and improve their posture. Today, Pilates is practiced worldwide, and continues to gain popularity, especially in western countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Club Pilates, founded in 2007 and based in Costa Mesa, Calif., is the nation's largest Pilates franchise, and it closed out 2017 with the signing of its 663rd franchise.

IHRSA Sees Positive Growth for Fitness Pros

The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) recently released a report detailing the trends in the fitness instructor market, showing positive growth. In the report—the U.S. Fitness Professional Outlook—employment growth for fitness professionals since 2003 was examined, as well as compensation trends, certification requirements and key drivers for continued success.

March 2018

Denver's Freedom Park Wins Grant for Public Art

The Trust for Public Land, in collaboration with Denver Urban Gardens, has announced a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for public art at New Freedom Park in Denver. The grant will fund an artist's design and creation of art pieces that will not only provided much needed shade, but will protect park trees and plants.

NSPF, Counsilman-Hunsaker Partner to Create App for Aquatic Facility Managers

The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) strives to make pools safer and keep pools open by funding education and research, and creating new swimmers. Counsilman-Hunsaker has been designing aquatic projects internationally of all types and sizes for more than 45 years. And now they've partnered to offer Facility Manager, a customizable app for aquatic facilities. The digital web-based application aims to enhance the safety and sustainability of aquatic facilities by simplifying daily operations.

More Than 330 Million Recreation Visits Recorded in 2017 for National Park System

The National Park Service announced that there were 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017—almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared with 2016.

Study Shows Economic Benefits of the Great Outdoors

The results of a recent study proved that there are economic benefits to the great outdoors. The study—released by The Trust for Public Land, a U.S. nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that facilitates and funds the creation of parks and protected lands—quantifies for the first time the billions of dollars of economic benefits that are generated annually by the investment of Colorado Lottery money across the state in parks, trails, land and water conservation, playgrounds and recreation.

February 2018

Parks for Inclusion Initiative Aims to Expand Reach to All Americans

Local parks and recreation destinations and programs offer many benefits to communities, and the nonprofit National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to these benefits. And now, they've launched the Parks for Inclusion initiative, which supports physical enhancements within park environments, policy development and program implementation strategies. These various programs and enhancements will not only serve those with physical and cognitive disabilities, but also the LGBTQ community, racial and ethnic minorities and new Americans.

SHAPE America, NFL & Partners Collaborate on Training for Health & P.E. Educators

SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators) has joined forces with the NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 to develop a new NFL FLAG-In-Schools online training course for health and physical educators.

CPSC Offers $1.1 Million in Pool Safely Grants

On January 2, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a 90-day solicitation seeking applicants for a special Pool Safety Grant Program (PSGP) for the 2018 fiscal year. The CPSC expects to award $1.1 million in two-year grants to state and local governments for assistance in reducing deaths and injuries from drowning and drain entrapment.

Bipartisan PHIT Act Could Boost America's Wellness

It's that time of year when many of us are realizing that we've already fallen short of our fitness and exercise resolutions that we so optimistically made several weeks ago. But now, to help encourage Americans to lead a more physically active lifestyle, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has announced its support of a bill in Congress that would boost such efforts.

January 2018

China Plant Shutdowns May Affect Pool Operations & Budgets

China's shutdown of its chemical plants back in December that provide cyanuric acid (CYA) will have an effect on the industry, potentially forcing up prices for the chemical stabilizer.

Arlington County 'Pulls Together' to Remove Invasive Plants

Arlington County received a $140,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's "Pulling Together Initiative" to identify and remove invasive plant species along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. The 45-mile paved trail is popular with cyclist, runners and horseback riders. It stretches through many Northern Virginia counties.

Youth Sports Participation Increases for Underserved Kids

Nearly three-quarters of youth sports programs in 27 cities and towns reported growth in the number of kids involved in their programs in 2016, according to a new report from the Youth Sports Collaborative Network. These results are encouraging, especially considering that budgets for many of these types of programs are shrinking and childhood obesity rates are growing.

Study: Physical Activity Boosts Learning Time

It's common knowledge that exercise has a variety of health benefits, including boosting thinking and learning. In fact, results of a three-year study show that classroom physical activity can increase learning time for school children.