The NIRSA Conference (National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association) is the national conference that deals with recreational, sport and wellness, on collegiate campuses around the nation. The NIRSA conference was a great learning experience for all those that attended, including myself. Kahli, Skip, and myself headed to sunny Tampa, Fl to recruit students and attend this conference. The conference consists of an expo where exercise and equipment demos were held, and undergrad/graduate student job placements for recreational positions at most major higher education institutions. The jobs were posted on bluefishjobs.org and students could sign up for interviews on sight. The conference was four days but the expose was 3 days and then we headed home.
Although I mainly deal with the professional side of sports (intercollegiate and professional), I often neglect the other aspect of the sport industry; the wellness, fitness, and recreational side. Before I came to Canisius, I was a Sports Director at the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. I ran the youth and adult sport departments at the Blue Springs and independence Family YMCA’s and loved it. Although my tenure ended at the YMCA in December 2009, I still have great love and affection for the YMCA and their core values and mission statement.
So why do I tell you all this? The truth is that the recreational side of sports can be just as rewarding as the professional side. I have seen the joy that sports brings to people on the recreational side of all ages. Some of my greatest memories from college were playing on the baseball team, but also being competitive on the intramural side of sports. My house won the softball intramurals 4 years in a row! I also enjoyed playing basketball, soccer, and flag football with my fraternity brothers during our time in the house and after.
I was recently reading about the fitness industry and their resurgence from the recession in 2007. In 2010, over 128 million Americans were members of a health club and just the health club industry alone was a $71 billion (71,000,000,000) industry! Once you include the health and wellness aspects this whole industry is about a trillion 1,000,000,000,000 industry. Sport blends in and incorporates into so many aspects of life. If your passion includes the recreational side of sport, I highly recommend this program. In fact to run many of the recreational and intramural programs at a major college you will need a masters degree, and I kow just the place to earn one!
Until Next time,