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 March 2008 • NIRSA news and information
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Campus Recreation: required reading for students and professionals

By Dr. Paul Milton, Assistant Professor of Sport Management, Ashland University

It is noteworthy that a recent book from friend and partner Human Kinetics has added a wealth of information and expertise on recreational sports, for the recreational sport professional. Indeed, the title of the text, Campus Recreation: Essentials for the Professional, boldly proclaims that very sentiment.

The many contributors (of which I am one) provide fresh insight into the foundations of recreational sports, current programming and facility issues, aspects of management from a 21st century perspective, and current and visionary topics of interest to the campus recreation professional.

The first section of the text is devoted to the philosophies and theories of student development and how campus recreation plays a role in such development. A history of campus recreation and of NIRSA is also provided, along with the impact of Title IX on the development and future of recreational sports on America’s college campuses.

The second of the four sections deals directly with current programming and facilities, particularly the planning, implementing, and assessing of specific program areas in campus recreation. Such specific areas include aquatics, intramural sports, sport clubs, instructional programs, outdoor recreation, and fitness and wellness. Readers will also become familiar with standard indoor and outdoor facility offerings and structures. Further insight is provided on how to plan, schedule, and conduct the aforementioned recreational sports programs.

The third section of the text takes a more general, yet advanced look at “functions that delve into managerial areas, including writing a business plan, carrying out a marketing plan, understanding risk management issues, and assessing programs” (Human Kinetics website, 2008). The authors in this section address the information from both a pragmatic, user-friendly approach, to a futuristic, visionary approach. This section is geared more toward the seasoned campus recreation professional. The final section of the book considers hot topics in the profession: ethical issues, sustainability, careers in campus recreation, and professional standards.

Several institutions with classes, or even a curriculum in recreational sports, have already adopted this text as required reading for students. That is because, among other reasons, the overall approach of the book, like much of the existing research in campus recreation, appeals to the practitioner. In the case of Campus Recreation: Essentials for the Professional, there is something for everyone, even the “preprofessional,” to consider.

For information on how to order Campus Recreation: Essentials for the Professional, visit the NIRSA Education & Publication Center.

Book cover: Campus Recreation
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