Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Briefly Noted

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Briefly Noted

Article excerpt

* September is National Childhood Obe sity Awareness Month, and to help combat this growing epidemic, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is hosting USTA Free Tennis Play Days in celebration of Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play in an effort to get kids active and involved in tennis. The USTA Free Tennis Play Days, which take place September 1 through Oc tober 6, are a unique and fun way for tennis facilities, parks, and municipalities to intro duce tennis to a new generation of kids and their parents.

USTA Free Tennis Play Days will provide kids of all skill levels with the opportunity to take part in tennis skills and game challenges in a social and fun setting. These events are open to the public and emphasis is placed on family participation, effort, and sportsmanship.

The first 2,000 facilities registered to host a USTA Free Tennis Play Day will receive special giveaways for their attendees. Organizers will receive branded materials and national exposure for hosting an event. To host a USTA Free Tennis Play Day please register at www.youthtennis.com.

* In 2011, the Golf Course Builders Asso ciation of America (GCBAA) Foundation established the Sticks for Kids Excellence Award to recognize the efforts of its Sticks for Kids junior golf programs. The award is meant to honor an outstanding program that has utilized its granted Sticks for Kids program to reach its fullest potential by es tablishing and growing a junior golf pro gram that serves as an outreach and youth development tool as well as a means to "grow the game."

The GCBAA Foundation Board of Directors recently decided to rename the award the "Jim Kirchdorfer Sticks for Kids Excellence Award" to honor the program's founder. Jim Kirchdorfer, Sr., now deceased, established one of the first two test locations of the program in 1997 with bags of cut-down golf clubs to be used as loaner sets for children who didn't have their own, at participating courses in Louisville, Kentucky.

A partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) began in 2006 and served to revitalize the program, hone the focus, and give access to municipalities in need of junior golf programming across the United States. Sticks for Kids now numbers 461 locations and has touched the lives of nearly 300,000 children over the course of its history. Contact the GCBAA Foundation for additional information or to nominate an individual for this award.

* In Lincoln, Nebraska, the Cowboy Rec reation and Nature Trail's new Norfolk Bridge is now complete and open to the pub lic. The bridge, located three miles west of town and spanning the Elkhorn River, re places the previous one washed out by a 2010 flood.

Construction and repairs will continue on the 22 miles of trail damaged in the flood, though many sections are complete and open to the public. Trail users can get daily updates from OutdoorNe-braska.org to see which sections are closed for repairs.

* A new research brief from Active Liv ing Research summarizes research on physical activity in after-school programs and examines how policies can help after-school programs more effectively promote physical activity and prevent obesity among children. The study's key findings and recommendations are as follows:

* Children are getting less than half of the recommended amount of physical activity for after-school time. …

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