Summer sports season around the corner

 Posted on: May 23 2016

For many of you, whether you’re an events rights holder or operate a sports venue, this is your Christmas season—it’s your busiest, most frantic time of the year as schools let out and summer sports organizations kick into high event gear. You’ll be working on multi-session, multi-day tournaments and won’t be able to catch your breath until the last champion is crowned.

So this is a good time to remind all of us, in between cursing the rain, the broken popcorn maker and the late t-shirt delivery, why we do what we do in sports, especially youth sports.

Earlier this year, Fortune Magazine published an article, “Here’s Why Women Who Play Sports Are More Successful” by Beth Brooke-Marciniak, global vice chair of public policy at EY.

A study by Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports confirms what we all know—about 70% of children in the U.S drop out of organized sports before age 13. We’ve talked about all the reasons—varied interests, peer pressure, parental meddling, clashes with coaches. Brooke-Marciniak points out that the figure is especially alarming for girls and young women, because it’s been shown that girls who play sports are more likely to graduate from college, find a job and be employed in male-dominated businesses.

Brooke-Marciniak herself played basketball, softball, tennis and golf in high school, and basketball at Purdue. And she credits her interest in sports—and her parents support--to her success in business. “I know that the nonjudgmental, joyous support of my parents was a huge factor,” she writes, “not only in my success as an athlete, but also in my professional success today.”

She also quotes Claire Shipman, co-author of The Confidence Code, in supporting girls’ participation in sports. “Something happens when girls play sports,” Shipman writes. “They embody the experience of not just winning, but the critical experience of losing. It’s that process of carrying on and clearing hurdles that really builds confidence. It’s an incredibly useful proving ground for business and leadership.”

A study by EY shows, according to Brooke-Marciniak, that among senior business women in the C-suite, some 94% played sports at some level and more than half played at a college or university. And of the 400 women surveyed in the study, 75% said that a candidate’s background in sports positively influenced their decision to hire them—male or female.

So as you jump into the summer sport season, remember that you’re not just putting on an event—you are helping build an athlete’s successful future—on the playing field, and in life.


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