A warm-up is a session which takes place prior to doing physical activity; usually a warm-up will consist of light cardiovascular exercises combined with stretches. What happens in a warm-up? Most warm-up sessions will include a combination of cardiovascular exercises, stretching and strength drills. The cardiovascular exercises are designed to increase circulation, increase body temperature and bring the heart rate up, while stretching warms the muscles and prepare them for the movements they will be required to carry out during the activity.
Foundational Knowledge for Researchers To become comfortable with research and evaluation, you first need to understand the following: The mission and purpose of parks and recreation The need for research and evaluation How research and evaluation assist an organization The expectations for evaluation and research within the industry related to professional certification and agency accreditation Mission and Purpose of Recreation Agencies In the United States, the field of recreation and parks has deep roots grounded within societal needs, community needs, and individual needs see figure 1.
As you probably remember, the original needs of the community emerged during the Industrial Revolution. With the population shifting from rural areas to urban centers, children needed a safe place to play and socialize.
The scope of facilities and services expanded from that point to include providing public parks, public recreation facilities, and instructional classes.
Every park and recreation agency is challenged by—and exists to address—social concerns that become the needs within the community. For example, many American communities are concerned about gang activity, risk-taking behavior of youth, single-parent households, drug and alcohol abuse, and the growing need for sport fields and other public open spaces.
Obesity is a primary example of a social concern that park and recreation programs are well positioned to address. This epidemic is prevalent in children, teenagers, and adults within the United States. Researchers predict that many members of the current generation of children will die before their parents because of factors related to obesity high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a lack of exercise.
Each initiative is a community mobilization model that is designed to assist local communities in planning, marketing, and promoting healthy lifestyles related to diet and exercise.
In addition, park and recreation agencies provide a wide variety of health and fitness programs, such as swimming lessons, open swim, aerobic classes, sport skill classes, movement classes for preschoolers, weight rooms for working out, and the simple reminder to get outside and play an hour a day.
Healthy lifestyles go beyond physical fitness to emotional and psychological wellness. Park and recreation agencies also provide a wide variety of art classes, dance lessons, and concerts. All these kinds of programs and services work toward a healthier community.
Parks and recreation departments provide a wide variety of programs and services to their local communities. But are these programs accomplishing what they are intended to do for the individual, the organization, or the community?
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The Need for Research and Evaluation Every park and recreation agency needs to answer a number of questions about its programs, services, and operations which are noted in figure 1. These questions include the following: Is the agency meeting the objectives of the programs? Is the agency meeting the needs of the customer?
Is the agency financially stable? These are only a small sample of the questions that a park and recreation agency needs to answer. How does a park and recreation agency go about answering these questions?
The best way is to use the process of research and evaluation. Is the Agency Meeting the Objectives of the Programs?
All programs provided by park and recreation agencies have a purpose or an objective related to the outcomes for the participants. For example, the objective of a beginning swimming class is to have the participants move through water adjustment skills and learn a basic stroke on their front and back.
For the organization, the objective for swimming classes is to have more people learn to swim. In addition, the programs should cover costs associated with the programs and generate revenues for the agency. The agency must always consider the cost and revenues generated from the programs.
For the community, the objective of swimming classes could be to have a variety of opportunities available for family members to learn to swim and to enjoy the aquatic facilities year-round.
Many park and recreation agencies have indoor facilities, outdoor facilities, or both. Swimming is also a physical activity that people can enjoy throughout their lifetime, either in formal classes or individually. Park and recreation agencies must work to gather the information they need to determine if the objectives of the program are being met and whether these are class objectives, agency objectives, or objectives for the community.
The research and evaluation process is the primary method for gathering this information and making this assessment.Marks Park Sports Club From formal events to fancy dress parties, we have the hall for you!
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