Sports & Fitness Q&A

to implement should focus on engaging

children’s interest, as well as their

heart rates.

These may include sport specific

drill games (like drills and skills),

dance orientated (like music and movement)

or even a circuit style class using

fun fitness tools where children move

from cardiovascular stations to resistance

stations when a whistle blows or music

starts.

Other classes that have worked

well are kids’-based yoga or animal-shape

yoga poses.

Colleen Lammel-Harmon

Q: Some of the adult softball players in

our leagues drink beer after the game in

our parking lots. This is against department

rules and the litter left behind is a

problem. Short of intervention by law

enforcement does anyone have any

other ideas?

A: We had this problem too. We have

changed policy and now allow players to

drink beer in controlled and secured

areas after games.

A special permit is

issued to each team wishing to socialize

in this manner. The permit is issued at a

cost to the teams that covers administrative

overhead, a refundable damage

deposit, opportunity costs, and the cost

of an onsite security person to help keep

order and enforce other park rules.

It is

quite popular with some of our adult

teams while generating additional revenue

for the programs.

William Potter is the parks and

recreation division manager for Orange

County Parks, Florida. He can be reached at

William.Potter@ocfl.net. Bill is scheduled to

give presentations on park and facility design

and trails and wetlands at Parks & Rec

Business LIVE! at Deer Creek State Park,

near Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 19-20.

Q: How has recreation programming

changed in your community during the

past several years?

A: We serve a community of 25,000 residents

as the city’s Parks, Recreation &

Forestry Department. We compete with

the local YMCA (who will break ground

soon on a new $4 million facility), the

state’s largest private health/fitness club

(who added a $3 million outdoor water

park in 2004), and local associations representing

Little League, hockey and soccer.

Our department also runs an outdoor

family aquatic center (required to break

even operationally) and several other

sports-related programs in baseball, softball

and basketball.

As you can see there

are a lot of choices with some overlapping

of programs.

As a result, our department

has chosen to offer a very highly

respected swimming lesson program that

has set records each of the past three

years for registration and a greatly

revamped recreation program, centered

on enrichment-type activities.

We have

found great success with our enrichment

programs. Although we still offer traditional

programs, including limited youth

sport programs and a large adult softball

program (over 1,000 players) we are

emphasizing this new direction.

Similar

to the swim lessons, we have set records

for both registration and revenues the

past three years for the enrichmentprograms.

Programs we offer now

include drama, Spanish, science, parent/

child classes, craft classes (a really big

hit), themed programs such as Hallowiener,

which includes games, craft and a

snack, music classes and Thursday afternoon

early release programs that include

entertainers and performers.

Names of

some classes are Rock Hounds, Magic

School Bus, Junk Box Wars, Ooey Gooey

Day and SuperKids.

Programs serve the

age range of 2-12 along with parents.

Another change we are seeing are parents

attending, both moms and dads.

There is

a fairly strong desire to offer more programs

during the time period of 4-7 p.m.

so adults can see their kids participate.

Going to the enrichment program concept

has benefited our city, its residents

and our department greatly. The positive

response by the community has solidified

our department’s role in the programming

area of citizens’ needs.

Additional

information on our enrichment programs

and swimming lessons can be obtained

from our Recreation/Aquatics Supervisor,

Sherry Herwig, sherwig@cityof

sunprairie.com.

Robert M. Holling is the Director of

Parks, Recreation & Forestry for the City of

Sun Prairie, Wis. For further questions, Bob

can be reached at rholling@cityofsunprairie.

com. Bob will be giving presentations

on parks and playgrounds at Parks & Rec

Business LIVE! at Deer Creek State Park,

near Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 19-20.

Q: How do you attract teens to your

youth programs?

A: Attracting teens to our youth programs

has been a challenge, but we have found

that teens will participate if they play an

important role in the coordination, implementation,

advertising, or volunteering for

the actual event.

For example, we coordinate

a local event for teens called the In the

Spotlight Teen Talent Show. This event

showcases the various talents of area teens,

and winners are judged and are awarded

prizes in categories such as Best Band, Best

Musical Performance, Best Dance, and so

on.

Teens are used as volunteer judges

during the audition process to decide who

goes on to the actual show.

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