Overview of The Sports & Recreation Industry
The Sports and Recreation industries are far reaching, covering indoor and outdoor pursuits, leisure centres, games, activities, park management and ancillary industries such as the provision of treatment after injury and the provision of specialised sports and leisure equipment.
The Sports and Recreation industry are big business. The Gym and Sports Club sector in particular sees their members being higher than average earners, younger singles or couples without children. This socio-economic group has more disposable income and time to spend at the Gym. However, it is thought that only around 30% of people with gym memberships will regularly visit the gym 3 or more times per week.
Leisure and fitness centres in recent years have had to adapt to changing demands in order to maintain visitor numbers at an optimum level. Many offer healthy food and drinks to promote healthily living. People want to have fun when they exercise to stay motivated. For example, new dance crazes (such as Bollywood style dancing) have emerged on the scene. That is not to say that Aerobics' and Step classes are no longer popular. Pilates which started many years ago, after the work of Joseph Pilates, is still regarded by many with back problems, as being really effective in targeting the core stomach muscles. Practices such as Yoga and Tai Chi, are more than centuries old, and could be argued as being more of a lifestyle than an exercise regime. These disciplines are also offered by many leisure centres and clubs.
The Olympic Games in London 2012 were regarded by many as being the most successful ever. It has inspired people of all ages to try new sports and get active and fit. Maintaining the momentum of The Olympic Legacy by the countries that have hosted the games has always been a challenge. Investment in infrastructure, coaching provision and at the grassroots level in schools is required to keep focus on Sports.
When the global economy is suffering, investment by authorities in outdoor space, parkland and free public sports facilities will be impacted. For families and individuals whose household budgets are squeezed, free public recreational provision is even more precious.
Many people choose to join sports clubs or associations to maintain the motivation to keep fit and active in an organised and fun way. These may be by membership fee or may even be free to join and participate. On the other hand, there are numerous professional sports groups that are fee based and payable to a professional body. These provide a structured approach with coaching, training and performance management.
In the event that people are injured playing sports, the therapies that work alongside and complement sports such as physiotherapy and sports therapy have a large part to play in keeping people active and allowing them to continue to enjoy their chosen activity. For amateur sportspeople, injuries may not just jeopardise their ability to enjoy sport, but may impact on their occupation and thus also affect their livelihood. The practices of acupuncture, sports therapy, massage and physiotherapy may all assist in a person’s road to full health and fitness.
Outdoor examples of recreational pursuits include horse riding, mountaineering, canoeing, sailing and orienteering are other forms of recreation that are popular with both individuals and families. Many outdoor recreation companies have been formed to cater for outdoor pursuits. There is a huge selection of activity breaks hosted with a qualified instructor in adventure pursuits, at levels suited to customers fitness, ability and age. These activities, often combined with vacations, can include camping too. These specialised outdoor activities require specific equipment, which as a beginner can usually be hired. For those keen enthusiasts or experienced participants, it is usually better value to purchase your own equipment.
Sport and recreation are not just restricted to those that participate in it. Spectator sport is a pastime enjoyed all over the World. For example, British Soccer teams enjoy the support from fans far away as the developing world in Africa and Asia. Favourite players are sometimes idolised, and the merchandising is part and parcel of the Soccer industry.