York Urbanist

Curling Trends – For Business

April 3rd, 2015

Recreation Trends

Recreation Trends is the third in a series of three articles. The last two issues of The Curling News featured Technological Adaptation and Financial Planning.

Curling was rocked in the early 1990’s. At the time, many were perplexed at what was happening. The number of participants in bonspiels was trending down and urban curling facilities were closing. Often when one is in the midst of change, there is little understood of the evolution. The accumulated wealth of the baby boom generation, unique to Canada, allowed options for recreation pursuits. High end recreation such as golf courses and ski resorts were in their heyday. Yet nary was a curling club being constructed. Boomers could afford elite. The sport of Curling with its stronghold in the farm communities was not considered an elite sport. But participation in the Olympics was to change its status. The question: Was the sport ready to change with the tide? If the US example is an indicator, then curling there is ready:

“..so far in 2011, USA Curling reports close to a 19 percent increase in total membership in the past year. Even better, since the 2001-02 season, USA Curling’s membership has grown 53 percent from 10,805 to 16,512!” http://www.canadianexpatnetwork.com/public/995.cfm

“During the 2012-13 season, four dedicated curling facilities with a total of 22 sheets of ice were completed.” http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/Clubs/Growth-and-Development/Building-a-Club

For those with physical or program expansion plans , here are a few of the CURRENT TRENDS that could affect your decision making.

BARRIERS TO PARTICIPATION

Lack of Personal Time because of competition from other recreation pursuits and careers.

Employment outside municipality of residence reduces/changes recreation time due to commute.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING:

  1. Adapt to changing leisure hours
  2. Create flexible program hours

VOLUNTARISM

reprinted from www.curling.ca

reprinted from www.curling.ca

2010 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participatingindicated that voluntarism is rising slightly, but experience in several other communities suggest that many groups still struggle in finding volunteers.

One key result of the national survey was that 18% of the volunteer hours in Canada are in the sports and recreation sector

The rate of voluntarism by those between the ages of 15 and 24 has doubled from 29% in 2000 to 58% in 2007, perhaps largely due to the addition of mandatory volunteer hours for high school students.

Seniors currently represent the most active volunteer group.

Canadian immigrants represent a large proportion of the volunteer pool

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Create volunteer positions that have finite time limitations.
  2. Identify the skills of members and flatter them by asking for assistance. “All you have to do is ask”

CHANGING CANADIAN FAMILY

12% single parent families, increasing 1% over 5 years

Concern with physically inactive parents

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Create flexibility.
  2. Introduce more unstructured activities.
  3. Provide opportunities for parents and children to participate at the same time.

PHYSICAL INACTIVITY

Today’s digital age is filled with sedentary activities, resulting in continued concerns regarding physical inactivity. This is most prevalent among youth and children and can lead to significantly increased risk of threatening cardiac events and obesity

The level of physical inactivity increases with age and is the new smoking gun.

Knoxville-20130607-00732Awareness is building. ParticipAction started in the 1990’s and continues.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Market curling as a physically active sport, which relates to everyone’s physical attributes.
  2. Add a fitness facility to the mix of offerings in a multi-use facility

BABY BOOMERS

This age demographic intends to keep working after retirement age, possibly through part‐time work or launching new careers:

  • Men want to relax more and spend more time with their spouse.
  • Women see retirement as providing more time for career development, community involvement, and personal growth.

Boomers are moving to put others first (e.g., family, community, etc.) instead of themselves. (They were previously coined as the ‘ME’ generation). This change in attitude may be tapped for an increase in voluntarism.

Immigrant volunteers provide a variety of benefits to organizations including multi‐lingual assets, skill capacity, and providing a new outlook and perspective that may assist service delivery among organizations.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Emphasize growing daylight hour’s participation.
  2. Daytime will become prime time.
  3. Mixed curling opportunities appeal to men.
  4. Family curling opportunities appeal to parents.
  5. Offer volunteer opportunities.
  6. Like golf courses do with course marshals, trade skills for ice time.

OLDER ADULTS WILL LIVE LONGER

The ‘new senior’ will typically be wealthier and more physically active than those in previous generationsage-is-mind-over-matter

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Consider facility amenities such as light, water, seating, and accessible washrooms.
  2. Increase daytime use of recreation facilities.
  3. Seniors are seeking opportunities for casual sports, active living, and a greater variety of choices

LEVEL OF INCOME

Level of income is proportional to participation in recreation activities, especially in organized team sports. Given the high cost to participate,

40% of children among households earning over $100,000 are involved in organized physical activities and sports, whereas only 21% of children are involved in these pursuits in households earning less than $50,000.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Market to the higher income demographic
  2. Put less emphasis on reducing the cost of fees and more on improving the experience.

ETHNIC DIVERSITY

Many cultures view recreation as a family event and are more inclined to pursue activities together. Newcomers to Canada are frequent users of community spaces as these are ideal locations for social gatherings and interaction. The variety of passive and active pursuits between cultures is immense, with many activities serving to define cultures and how they interact. Social gathering spaces are perhaps the most sought after ‘non‐traditional’ recreations.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Identify the demographic of the community. Set a goal to match the demographic in your facility.
  2. Learn the needs of that demographic. When designing the facility accommodate the social gathering space requirements.

DISABILITIES

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability, making this group the world’s largest minority.In Canada, the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey conducted by Statistics Canada in 2006 estimated that approximately 4.4 million

Canadians were challenged with a disability, with nearly one‐quarter of those living in Ontario.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. For new or renovated facilities, follow AODA requirements.
  2. Program for blind and wheelchair athletes utilizing national programs

MULTI-PURPOSE FACILITIES

Communities are moving away from single‐purpose, stand‐alone facilities in favour of multi‐use facilities that integrate numerous activities and offer economies of scale with respect to construction, maintenance, staffing, and scheduling. Multi‐use facilities are often designed with flexible spaces (e.g., activity rooms, gymnasiums, etc.) that have the potential to expand and easily respond to changing trends and demands of future users.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

Design facilities to address demand for recreations that complement curling.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

Trails and bike lanes are increasingly accommodating a more active, integrated lifestyle. And, yes, cyclists ride in winter.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CURLING

  1. Locate close to users
  2. Provide facilities for storage and showers

 

 

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