Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Internet Resources for Sports and Fitness Programming

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Internet Resources for Sports and Fitness Programming

Article excerpt

In the June issue of Parks & Recreation we introduced a new department designed to share Internet sites of interest to professionals in the parks and recreation field. The explosion in Internet use, and the concomitant increase in sites, makes it difficult to locate information that is useful and timely. Our intent is to identify sites we perceive as useful to large numbers of Parks & Recreation readers.

This month we explore the use of the Internet as a tool to assist in sports and fitness programs. Rossman (1995) defined a program as "a designed opportunity for a leisure experience to occur." The scope of program opportunities is limited only by the creativity and knowledge of the service provider. The focus of this article is the identification of Internet sources available to assist park and recreation professionals in expanding their repertoire of program ideas in the areas of sports and fitness. We selected these areas for two reasons: they are program components in most recreation agencies, and they are wellrepresented on the Internet.

The sites identified were evaluated based on the criteria identified in the inaugural article in June. We selected sites for their depth of information, links to other useful sites, recency, ease of use and the expertise of the site owner.

Sports And Fitness Sites

There are many sites available for the sport enthusiast. These range from those dedicated to professional and collegiate teams to sites targeted at the sport aficionado, such as Planet Reebok (www.reebok.com) We did not include such sites in this article. Instead, the focus is on information with professional relevance.

The National Alliance for Youth Sports www.nays. org)

The National Alliance, "America's leading advocate for healthy, positive and safe sports for children involved in out-of-school youth sports activities," provides a Home Page with links to its divisions, including the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (training and certification of volunteer youth sport coaches and officials), National Institute for Youth Sports Administration (training, education, and resources for those involved in youth sports administration), Lifetime Sports and Fitness for Youth (programs to build confidence and proficiency needed for successful sports involvement), and the National Clearinghouse for Youth Sports Information (providing a variety of information and materials about youth sport, including a free catalog of information). This site provides a plethora of information for youth sport programmers.

The American Sport Education Program (www.asep.com)

The American Sport Education Program (ASEP) is dedicated to "working to make sport safer, more enjoyable, and valuable for children and youth." ASEP provides courses and publications for coaches and sport directors. This site includes schedules of workshops as well as information on ordering materials. In addition, information about ASEP-funded youth sport research grants can be found at this site. The site also has links to the national organizations of several sports, including softball, volleyball, tennis, and cycling.

The Amateur Sports Net (www.asnsports.com)

The Amateur Sports Net (ASN) identifies itself as "Your Internet Source for Amateur Sport Information." This is an interesting site that provides a free location to list information about teams and leagues that can then be accessed by participants and players. "The main purpose of ASN is to provide an effective method of distributing information to all people involved with your sport organization (team league)." The site allows agencies to list participating teams, rosters, news, scheduling news, and other information. Participants can access the site to keep updated on schedules, practice locations, and other team-related information. The site can function as a cyberspace substitute for the phone tree. A designated editor enters the information for each team or league and then all have access to it This site is a wonderful location for agencies without web sites to communicate information to participants in sports programs. …

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