Lecturer in Recreation Management
Recreation is becoming more and more important as we move further into the 21st Century. People today are likely to derive as much personal identity and purpose through their recreational sports, hobbies and pastimes as from their daily job of work. While there is more and more demand for suitable opportunities for recreation to occur, people looking to take part in recreation typically need somewhere to go, something to do and (quite often) someone to do it with.
The physical and social recreation environment ranges from mountains, rivers and tracks in the great outdoors, to indoor spaces such as stadiums, performance venues, clubrooms, and the home. It also includes an array of activities ranging from organised events and festivals through to casual social recreation with friends. The opportunities needed to recreate could be as simple as a quiet hour alone or a more structured activity such as a monthly meeting or a weekly practice. And the people? Well, with the right encouragement and support, casual participants are more likely to take part on a regular basis, join teams and develop higher-level skills.
What does it take to make a winning team? Regardless of the ability or skill of the members, teams have little chance of winning unless they have the time, place and people needed to form and develop as a unit. When recreation takes the form of competitive sport, a team also needs people to join other teams and provide competition to play against. While this might sound strange, winning teams don’t always focus on winning. They concentrate on technical skills, communication and working together. Get those things right and the results will follow. And although winning is important, the benefits of regular recreation take many forms including physical and emotional health as well as medals and trophies!
There is demand for recreation professionals with the knowledge, experience and skills to nurture, manage and maintain the environments and opportunities needed for recreation to occur and teams to flourish and achieve. Many Lincoln Graduates are already playing an important part in a wide range of roles as professional athletes, facility and programme managers, protected natural areas managers, recreation planners, coaches and guides in New Zealand and across the globe. Our programmes are designed to help our future graduates continue this rich heritage and make sure that we can all continue to enjoy our recreation.
While we can enjoy activities on our own, I think many people gain a much more profound sense of achievement and reward by doing things with others. For example, while I work at the university, I also play in a big band. We rehearse once a week and play the odd gig. No-one gets paid; we do it for fun. Quite often, the members of a local dance club come along to our gigs and dance while the band plays. I get a real buzz from playing great tunes with my band-mates while watching the dancers enjoy the music as they dance their routines. I seriously doubt that our band will ever make a hit record and I'm not sure if the dancers will ever appear on Broadway. Does that make us less of a winning team? Absolutely not.