Throughout the United States, community recreation centers are serving citizens by providing fun and relevant programming. However, even the best programs must evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of residents. This is only accomplished when recreation center management leaders take the time listen to their members. These conversations are a critical part of building programs that can solve issues and elevate the community as a whole.
Recreation centers everywhere are transforming their spaces and transitioning their program offerings in new and exciting ways. In this two-part series, we will highlight a variety of recreation center innovations that are not only exciting but are impactful to health and well-being of the surrounding community.
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Powered by popular brands like Peloton and boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are moving towards workouts that can be led by a location-independent fitness instructor. This trend has extended to the recreation center where you can now find large monitors that allow members to follow along with the instructor, just as you would do in your living room. This trend allows recreation centers to procure most talented fitness leaders, regardless of their location.
To bring more children to sports, fitness and recreation professionals are turning to a concept called “exergame” to increase participation. Exergames are video games that have an exercise component. Exergame took center stage with the debut of the Nintendo Wii video game system. Exergames track body movement and mimics it in the virtual game. Not only does exergaming provide a fun, interactive, alternative to traditional gaming and exercise, there’s emerging research that points to the positive psychological impact it has on participants.
In recent years, eSports has emerged as one of the nation’s most popular pastimes among teens and adults. A poll conducted by the Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell took of sample of people between the ages of 14-21 and found that 89 percent of all the men in the survey and 73 percent of all participants played video games at some level. Recreation centers are meeting this demand by dedicating spaces to digital game play. While the investment can be large in some cases, it’s a way to bring more teens into recreation facilities and introduce them to their full range of offerings.
More recreation centers are meant to serve a variety of needs for the surrounding the community. One area in which rec centers are stepping to plate is in technical education. Community centers, especially in underserved areas, are equipping themselves with more computers and training programs designed to teach everything from basic computer skills to coding to graphic design to 3D animation. Some recreation centers are adding studios to help children and adults learn video or music production as well.
To learn more about topics related to recreation center management and innovative programs or if you have a vision for a new fitness or recreation center, contact us today at 727-474-3845.