Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 Virginia Senior Games - One Month Left to Register!

Stay Informed

What's New

Hammer Throw and Triple Jump added to Track and Field Competition

Thanks to your 2016 Virginia Senior Games Track and Field Committee for meeting the needs of our track athletes and adding the following 2 track and field events.  Track and Field takes place on Saturday, May 21 at the Christopher Newport University track.
  • Mens/Womens Hammer Throw:  1pm
  • Mens/Womens Triple Jump:        3pm
As you know, athletes may qualify to compete at the 2017 National Senior Games this May at the Virginia Senior Games.

  • POSTED 1/6/2016:  Male bowler seeks female partner for mixed doubles in 70-74 age group or younger.
  • POSTED 1/20/2016:  Female bowler in 60-64 age group seeks female partner for doubles, as well as a female bowler to partner in mixed doubles.
  • POSTED 2/12/2016:  Athlete seeking 500g javelin for sale.
  • POSTED 2/17/2016:  50-54 female athlete from Alexandria seekingvolleyball team.
  • POSTED 2/18/2016:  male 4.0 pickleball player seeks female partner for mixed doubles, 70-74 age group.
  • POSTED 2/26/2016:  70-year old experienced female volleyball player seeks womens or co-ed team.
  • POSTED 2/29/2016:  93-year old female bowler (average 130) seeks partner for doubles and mixed doubles.
Chesapeake 50+ Games
New River Valley Senior Games
2016 Virginia Senior Games ATHLETE CHALLENGE

Virginia's Senior athletes represented the Commonwealth well at 2015 National Senior Games with a total of  140 medals (35 Gold, 55 Silver, 50 Bronze).  We want to rise in the National Ranks and need your help!

2016 VSG challenges each athlete to recruit an athlete for 2016!  Bring your family, friends, or maybe even your competitors!  The better the competition, the more representation for Virginia at the National level when the 2017 National Senior Games take place in Birmingham, Alabama.  

Even if you do not plan to partake in the 2017 National Senior Games, your participation and those of your "recruits" raise the bar for Virginia's athletes overall.
It's Not Too Late
Want to participate in the 2016 Virginia Senior Games?  VSG welcomes athletes of all levels and with a variety of goals:  learning, exercising, socializing, winning, more!

National Senior Games offers a selection of online resources regarding:
and much more.

Days Until Registration Closes:  59
Days Until Competition Begins:  76 | 804-730-9447 |
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Cunningham Recreation Celebrates 50 Years


50 Years of Playing…It’s Been A Family Business for Three Generations

Parks and recreation are big business these days. Cunningham Recreation, a regional provider of park and playground products and services, based in Charlotte, NC is celebrating 50 years in business this year. Play, physical activity and recreation are an important part of living, not just for individuals, but for communities too.

Cunningham Associates was established in Virginia in 1966 by George Cunningham. Cunningham Associates, now known as Cunningham Recreation, a leader in the park and playground industry with a vision that has spanned three generations, has grown into the largest rep agency in the nation. They are proud to be GameTime Play Equipment's exclusive representative in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, DC, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, western Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Customers come first at Cunningham Recreation. They take pride in their reputation, and are committed to providing exceptional customer service. Due to the size of the organization, they can offer their customers the latest in cutting-edge technology, a fully staffed office with highly qualified and trained professionals and the best products and services the industry has to offer. Cunningham Recreation specializes in complete park and playground solutions from design to construction.

Scott Cunningham, President of Cunningham Recreation, says the number one reason for their success over 50 years is their customers. “We are truly celebrating such a significant milestone because of our customers, and the relationships we have built over the years.” The Cunninghams also believe their success and longevity can be attributed to the partnerships they have forged along the way, as well as the dedication of hard-working professional sales associates and staff members.

Most recently, Cunningham Recreation has started the Play 4 ALL Campaign. The Play 4 ALL initiative is a collective effort to coordinate, support, and mobilize partners from multiple sectors in order to provide advocacy, leadership and guidance in the creation of play and recreation spaces that positively impact health and wellness, foster joy and understanding, and promote community capital.

Cunningham Recreation believes that every community should have the resources and opportunities to ensure play for its citizens. They hope to achieve this goal by continuing to build relationships and foster partnerships with like minded organizations through the Play 4 ALL Campaign. Play and physical activity are a critical part of development regardless of age, ability, culture and socio-economic circumstances.

Cunningham Recreation’s goal continues to remain the same…to meet the needs and desires of the community as economically and prudently as possible, while providing safe, fun playground and fitness opportunities everyone will love for years to come.

Founder George Cunningham
For more information, contact Michele Breakfield, Director of Marketing, 800.438.2780 ext. 200.

VRPS is proud to have a 50 year relationship with Cunningham Recreation, since their founding.

Cunningham Recreation was the Platinum Contributor to VRPS' first Capital Campaign 2013.

For 2016, they are both Leadership Training Institute and Annual Conference Premium Sponsors.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New App Used at the 2015 VRPS Annual Conference.

by Tyler Stefkovich, CPRP

* Recreation Manager,
Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, & Tourism

* 2015 VRPS Annual Conference Exhibits Co-Chair

The 2015 Virginia Recreation and Park Society Annual State Conference was the first to offer to its delegates a conference app where session schedules, announcements, advertising and social components were communicated in place of printed materials.

As we were planning for the 2015 Annual State Conference, the committee brainstormed ways we could add to the future of the VRPS organization, add a cool component to the Annual Conference and support our current VRPS president’s platform of technology development and integration. A number of us had some experience in using this type of App at other conferences we had attended and certainly deliberated about how many would welcome this type of organization technology.

In addition, we discussed the ability to “Go Green” by using less paper copies of the programs and schedule.  Katey Legg, CPRP, Recreation Superintendent in Gloucester County, led the effort in many of the development and communication projects with the Crowd Compass App company.  She stated,

The decision to move from a printed conference book to a mobile app wasn’t made lightly.  However, the mobile app afforded VRPS all of the same options of the printed book, but also new ways to connect, the ability to make last minute changes as necessary, and even offer more exposure for sponsors."

Throughout the conference I took every opportunity to use the App while looking for ways to explore the many different features it provided.  I used the schedule feature, the notes feature, the instant messaging future and received the many announcements sent out by the conference committee.  Katey also stated, “The introduction of the mobile app to the VRPS Annual Conference was a step of progress in how VRPS communicates to it members.  I especially liked receiving my unique registration code prior to the conference so I could play around with the app and upload educational sessions to my personal colander through the app.

I found the App user friendly and fun to use.  It was fun to see others explore the possibilities.  Fellow delegate event took pictures during education session and later uploaded them through the App for others to see.  After the conclusion of the conference I was able to later email myself all of my notes to compile into word documents

The 2016 VRPS State Conference, being held in Roanoke, will again plan to utilize the Crowd Compass App.  Scott Ramsburg, 2016 Conference Committee Member stated,

Most conference attendees have smart phones and have come to rely on apps like this one to browse program sessions, interact with maps and communicate with fellow conference attendees."

In addition, he stated, “Surveys of the event rated the app very highly.

Certainly the app will continue to face some challenges including possible technical difficulties, connectivity issues and individuals who do not have access to the technology in order to utilize the App.  Overall though, this is a great tool to use in order to increase communication in conjunction with other forms.  App technology is fun and ever changing to be user friendly.  We were excited to offer it last year and look forward to using it again.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

VRPS Members in the Community: Kat Fish

by Kat Fish

* Aquatics Specialist II,
Prince William County Parks & Recreation

* 2016 LTI Committee:  Secretary
* 2016 Northern Service Area Board:  Chair-Elect

Kat Fish is an Aquatics Specialist II with Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation. She oversees an indoor aquatic facility and Waterworks Waterpark. She has been with the agency as a lifeguard since she was 15 and just reached her 6th year in a full time capacity. Prior to working full time with PWC she taught high school history classes with Stafford County Public Schools. It was here where she was able to utilize her passion of dance to coach and mentor high school dancers on their Varsity and Junior Varsity teams. She is currently in her 9th year as the Head Coach of the Dance Team Program at Mountain View High School in Stafford.

How/when did you become involved with dance?  What was your dance journey – where are you from & how did you get to where you are now - geographically, professionally, recreationally.

How did I become so passionate about dance? Dance has been in life since the age of 4. My mother enrolled me in my first creative movement class at the center where I currently work. I then added more classes by taking tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, and pointe. In high school, I was on my dance team and spent my afternoons practicing and then would head straight to my dance studio for many more hours of dance. On average I was dancing about 30 hours a week in high school. Upon graduation I knew that dance needed to remain in my life. I attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where I participated in their Dance Company and Dance Marathon. I graduated with two minors in Dance Education and Dance Performance. I was hired to coach and teach for Stafford County Public Schools in 2007. The school and team were only two years old, so I was motivated to create and build my own program.

What was your greatest concern or doubt, and how did it turn out?  What steps have you taken as a result?

When I was hired I was told some of the history of the last two years of the team. I heard there were issues with the past coaches but at the same time I heard that the team was upset at the departure of their former coaches. My biggest concern was being that “new coach” that they would have to adjust to. Adjust to my rules, my way of running practices, and my expectations of them and of myself as a coach. The first year was definitely a year of ups and downs and lots of learning. I took all of the challenges and successes and captured those onto paper. At the end of the year I reflected back to my notes and created the official Constitution for the team. This set clear expectations for dancers, parents, and myself as the coach. The team had not had any formal guidelines in terms of attendance, grades, behavior, etc. Forming this was a huge step in making the team “my own.” Each year the coaches and I continue to revise and update the Constitution to fit any new obstacles that we have faced in the past year.

How do you feel your efforts with this initiative have strengthened you as an individual, a professional, and a VRPS member?

Some of my team’s major accomplishments in my 9 years as coach were winning the EDA All-Around Grand Champion in 2014 and 2010. They were also Grand Champions in two divisions in 2014 and three divisions in 2010 at U.S. Finals in Virginia Beach. The team continuously has been awarded “Best Technique” at local and national competitions.
When the team is not competing, I encourage community involvement by supporting Special Olympics and performing at local elementary schools fundraisers. They also host a six week dance camp for local middle and elementary schools, teaching proper stretching techniques and dance routines. Beyond their local community, they perform at the Pro Bowl, with the Elite Redskinettes, and during the Macy’s Day Parade.
While stressing teamwork, I also promote growth of the individual dancer. I understand the importance of helping my dancers grow by allowing them to help choreograph their own routines. I then guide them in the refining and cleaning process. The rapport I build with them during this process is evident by the number of dancers that return to perform in the annual alumni routine during basketball season.  Many of those alumni have been extremely successful in their dance careers after graduating from high school. Four have been EDA/UDA instructors, nine have been in college dance companies, and five have been selected for collegiate dance teams. Our current JV Coach is a past dancer and a member of a semi-professional football dance team.

If you could choose one thing to happen for the program in the future, what would it be?

Dance has become a very expensive sport and we have seen a gradual decline in our numbers when it comes time to tryouts. As a team that is solely supported by team fundraisers, I would like to see that one day the school would provide more financial support. Our winning record in Stafford County is one to be proud of but I would like to enjoy this record with more dancers being able to participate without having to worry financially.

What is your best moment throughout the year?

My greatest moment each year with the team is our Alumni Dance. We invite all alumni dancers back to practice for a week. They learn a routine with the current members and then they all perform together at halftime of a home basketball game.  Each year we have at least 10 alumni dancers come back and join us for this experience. It is an opportunity for them to check up on their alma mater and for me to reconnect with members that I was once so closely connected to. We are not just a 4 year team… we are a family.

Anything else you want to express ?

The Leadership Training Institute was my introduction into VRPS. This was the first training I attended and I became instantly hooked on VRPS. From the educational sessions, to the chance to reflect on myself as a supervisor and truly learning new things about myself – I am grateful for my chance to attend LTI. Since LTI, I have become involved in Annual Conference, Northern Service Area, and I am completing my second term with the Leadership Training Institute Board. VRPS has given me the opportunity to step outside of my agency and work with other highly talented professionals in the recreation field.