Sports and fitness have long been associated with a number of positive benefits: improved health, a sense of community, a rewarding routine and more. During an era riddled with uncertainty, there has perhaps never been a time when community sport has been more important.

 

In general, communities that place a higher importance on social interaction in the form of physical activities, organized programs, and parks and rec have an overall stronger sense of unity and belonging. They are generally safer places to live and are typically filled with happier and healthier people.

 

One would be hard-pressed to find a downside to encouraging sports and recreational activities in the community. Here are some of our top reasons why these activities are so important – hopefully they will provide some inspiration to introducing community play in your hometown!

 

Benefits for Physical and Mental Health

 

Perhaps one of the most important benefits that community sports and programs provide is the positive impact on individual health, both physical and mental. Over the course of the pandemic, reports of mental health issues have skyrocketed, with an increased number of individuals reporting counts of stress, worry, anxiety and depression, due to exasperated periods of isolation and lack of activities to participate in.

 

Mental health, physical activity and social interaction have always been inextricably linked to one another in some capacity; during this time, physical activity and a sense of belonging could present more benefits than ever before. Being able to enjoy nature by having access to public and national parks can also greatly benefit physical and mental health.

 

Encourages Community and Growth

 

From a young age, the social benefits that community sports and programs encourage cannot be denied. Getting children involved in recreational activities allows them to interact with like-minded individuals. It greatly benefits their social and emotional intelligence and helps them to develop skills like teamwork and communication.

 

According to a recent study, 85% of Canadians believe that participation in sports and physical activities helps to build stronger communities. However, those benefits don’t have to stop once kids grow up. The same study revealed that 45% of adults found it difficult to make new friends once they reached the age bracket of 18-34. Participating in organized activities can be a potential antidote to this problem by encouraging interaction and a sense of community for participants, even when it might seem more difficult to do so.

 

community univerus play

 

Positive Economic Impact

 

It’s no question that the last year has presented a number of economic hiccups across nearly every industry. In light of this, it’s important to note that having infrastructure and organizations dedicated to fostering communities and social engagement through recreational programs can also have a positive impact on the economy.

 

Across Canada, there are thousands of recreational facilities, each of them employing numerous instructors, management staff, administrative staff and more. Also, having a variety of programs available encourages multiple members from a household to sign up for a course or class, which has positive implications for the members (like the ones listed above) as well as providing revenue for the facility.

 

In addition, public parks can encourage tourism, increase property value and even lower public health costs, all contributing positively to the economy.

 

Member Management Software

 

The benefits of community programs are plentiful but running a successful facility that offers these courses and classes takes significant dedication in order to be successful. Between organizing programs, instructors, schedules and payments, it can be a lot to take on.

 

Having the right member management software on your side can help streamline your processes and allow your users to engage with your programs and community with ease. With Univerus Member Management’s user-friendly and intuitive software, members are able to register for programs, interact with community members, receive marketing materials and class reminders, and so much more, all from their desktop or mobile phones.

 

The Univerus Member Management suite also gathers a myriad of powerful datapoints that can be derived from member usage history and trends. These can then be harnessed to generate helpful reports. The reporting functionality offered by Univerus allows managers to take a critical look at their program offering, adjusting and amending it appropriately in order to make them even better suited for their community.

 

Want to learn more about the Univerus Member Management suite and the importance of community activity? Contact us today to see how we can help.