Inspiration to growing needs of aging community members
Broadening the horizons of Supervisors and Directors of Recreation programs helps utilize additional tools that may create greater balance and meet the growing needs of its aging community.
Supervisors and Directors are tasked with creating a wide array of services that engage individuals of all ages. Due to staffing issues, budget restrictions, limited space, and uniqueness of abilities, the success rate of this task is often a "work in progress".
Additionally, local tradition and community expectations can be powerful drivers when selecting which sports and recreation programs should be scheduled. However, in many cases repeated offerings can turn into habits resulting in stagnant program placements.
When this occurs there are typically two outcomes:
(1) Minority activity interests (games and/or activities not commonly played) never gain an opportunity for greater exposure, thereby keeping them in a perpetual position of being on the "outside looking in".
(2) Dynamic trends (Ninja Warrior, Pickleball, etc...) are avoided or missed because of the concern that a department can't afford to remove a well established activity for something that may require a "large lift with short legs", or a significant level of funding and/or expertise to maintain.
This whole scenario sounds and feels a lot like the expression, "being stuck between a rock and a hard place." Growth of movement experiences are an essential component of healthy communities, but how to actually achieve it is a complicated matter when resources are limited.
The divide between "want to", "need to" and "long term goal" programs can grow expeditiously year-over-year. So, how can the problem be addressed and perhaps even resolved?
"PRO" Tip - Building "IN" Space Utilization
Optimizing movement in dormant spaces not only maximizes and creates inclusive pathways for more people to develop stronger movement habits. A great example of this is taking a closer look at the outside sidewalks leading to facilities and inside hallways connecting to activity rooms (gyms, yoga rooms, etc). With the addition of movement themed stencils and floor/wall stickers community members can immediately become and stay active even if they are participating in a scheduled sport or recreation activity.