SETTING AN ATHLETE/COACH SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Laws in America are now being passed that prohibits teachers/coaches from contacting students and athletes via private social media.
This means that Facebook, SMS and direct messaging is not allowed – however they can communicate via a public forum. So, although social media is a great way to communicate information to members, sporting clubs should be careful.
USAGymnastics Magazine has provided a number of simple tips for developing a social media policy for clubs. These tips include:
- Communication is public and used for specific purposes such as schedule changes and announcements
- Coaches should ensure parents are aware that they have access to their child’s online profile
- Policies need to be clearly outlined to team members AND staff
- Enforcement and consequences for violations of the policy must b discussed and transparent
Social media is here to stay – and it’s only going to get bigger. Clubs need to educate staff, volunteers, athletes, supporters and parents about how to safely use and deal with this form of communication.
PinkeDSR Comments: “Social media is a great tool for sport and recreation clubs to use – as long as they are aware of the pros and cons of the tool, ways of using it effectively and how to deal with any negative use of the tool by their staff, members, supporters or other.
The Department of Sport and Recreation in Western Australia is constantly looking at ways of improving the presence of clubs online – so make sure you check out the hot links above and see what amazing things are happening in the land of social media, around our state.”
‘AEROBIC’ VIDEO GAMES: THE NEXT INFOMERCIAL?
Research has shown that playing active video games can positively affect the body shape of overweight children through an increase in aerobic capacity.
A controlled trial of the PlayStation EyeToy showed that there was a change in the Body Mass Index of the players after 24 weeks.
Participants (children aged 10-14 years) were allowed to play as little, or as much active video games as they wanted. These games included football, boxing, dancing and martial arts.
- Active video games play was sustained at higher levels than baseline at both 12 and 24 week measures
- Children were meeting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day
- Future trials should examine other mediators related to this type of intervention including attitudes or preference for physical activity, or changes in sedentary behaviour
“The question to ask is, will we next see these games being advertised as the ‘new ab-roller’? Will morning TV shows offer games as the way to wash-board abs? Is this actually a BAD thing, as long as it motivates people to move?”
TRUE OR FALSE: OLDER PEOPLE AREN’T ACTIVE ONLINE?
FALSE! A recent report shows that the number of people aged 65+ has almost doubled between 2007 and 2011.
COTA Victoria and Ellis Jones found that 85% of the Victorian over 55’s who answered the survey, are actively using the internet. The number of users over 65 has increased from 29.8% to 56.7% in only four years, whilst those aged 50-64 has grown by 22.3% during the same period.
The report also confirms that older people use the internet to stay in touch with their family and friends; to seek out help from government services and to get involved in conversations that they might not be able to access otherwise:
Almost two-thirds of survey respondents admitted they were happy to leave comments and feedback online, with 71% saying that they felt ‘acknowledged’ because of this opportunity to engage with other people.
- The biggest barrier faced by older users is the lack of knowledge and understanding about the level of security on internet sites – although online banking and travel bookings are their main reason for using the internet!
- Although they are actively shopping and banking online, almost half (40%) also have Facebook profiles and 20% enjoy searching and watching videos on YouTube. Far less are using Twitter and LinkedIn – but then these tools aren’t targeted at retirees.
A key finding of the report is that “Respondents believe having access to the internet makes them feel more informed, more engaged and more empowered – and they like the idea of governments engaging with them online” because of this!
- Seniors Recreation Council of WA
- COTA Victoria
PinkeDSR Comments: “Our population is ageing, and as this occurs our seniors groups consist of people who are increasingly savvy users of the internet and technology.
It is important that the sport and recreation industry embraces this shift in demographics, and uses these tools to continue to support, encourage, motivate and engage people in sport and active recreation activities.”
EVERYBODY NEEDS GOOD (ONLINE) NEIGHBOURS
Nextdoor.com is an online meeting place that makes it easy for people to connect with their neighbours – even borderline recluses are welcome.
“There’s a common misreading that technology inevitably leads to the decline of the local community. I don’t believe that. Technology can be harnessed to facilitate local interactions.” Professor Robert J. Sampson.
And so, Nextdoor.com was born. According to the chief executive of Nextdoor, Nirav Tolia, as we get holder, the community that becomes most valuable to us is the one we live in, and so this site provides a ‘map’ of neighbours in your area who are members – creating another way of interacting and bonding.
- Nextdoor.com currently has more than 2,000 American households (each containing approximately 500-750 households)
- A house-by-house map of neighbours – although you can choose not to have your name attached
- A forum for posting items of interest, sharing recipes and events, classifieds for buying and selling or even giving things away; and a database of user-recommended local services
- New members must prove they actually live at their claimed address
- Pages are all private – only fellow members can see who else is online – and none of the information appears on search engine results
- Updates and posts can be viewed online, via email posts or through SMS
- The service is free, however they plan to enlist local businesses to give members special offers
- Nextdoor.com has created something Facebook no longer is: an online network defined by real life proximity.
PinkeDSR Comments: “Creating community through the use of technology and online ‘social sites’ in the real world – what a challenge! But it seems that we are slowly overcoming our fear of the unknown, the virtual world, and embracing the opportunities that it presents.
Online dating is seen as one of the preferred ways that people meet their life-partner – so why not create a space that brings neighbours together as well?
There is plenty of opportunity for sport and recreation to get on board here – whether it is through the Nextddor.com site OR in its own specially designed online world.”
DEALING WITH DEPRESSION IN A VIRTUAL WORLD
3D fantasy worlds are giving young people the tools and confidence to deal with mental health issues.
A 3D fantasy game has been developed by the University of Auckland, to teach young people with mental health issues, skills to help build their confidence.
SPARX (Smart, Positive, Active & Realistic X-Factor thoughts) has gamified the real world to change mundane tasks and lessons into fun, interactive tasks – but it is the provision of health benefits that is ensuring gamification is here to stay (as proven by Cambridge Consultants T-Haler project).
- Players choose their own ‘avatar’ which they manoeuvre through a number of ‘provinces’ that relate to various problems they may experience when dealing with mental health issues.
- Examples include the Volcano Province which deals with disruptive emotions, whilst on other levels they fight GNATS (Gloomy Negative Automatic Thoughts).
- The pilot has been tested on 187 youth with vary degrees of depression. Half of the participants were given typical treatment and the other half played the game.
- Although both groups experienced reduced anxiety levels, the game players experienced higher levels of remission rates.
- Act Belong Commit
- Beyond Blue
- Nature Play WA
PinkeDSR Comments: “Gamification is a tool that can be used as a positive driver of physical activity. Take geocaching for example. Kids and adults can use their smart phones to get outside, do a worldwide treasure hunt and enjoy/explore the area – wherever they are.
There is also a large amount of research taking place that shows the use of exergaming (using consoles such as the Kinect and WiiFit) is a positive influencer of peoples involvement in physical activity and increases social interaction and mental alertness.
This is definitely something that can be used successfully within the sport and recreation environment – what sort of ideas do you have for its use!?”
ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT: WHEN THE TRAINS AREN’T RUNNING, IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T RUN!
London leads the way with organised group runs that operate at the end of each working day and follow popular bus and train routes.
Overcrowded public transport and increasing obesity issues – two factors which affect our quality of life, but could possibly be alleviated through the new, innovative and simple ‘group running’ idea Home Run.
We are constantly told that using public transport is of great benefit not only to our personal wellbeing, but also to the environment and so London has introduced guided group runs that allow people to get home powered by their own two legs.
Group guided runs offer a number of benefits including:
- Safety in numbers
- Guided and popular routes – most run along the same popular route that their bus or train may have taken anyway
- Support crew to carry your clothing and work bags – no more carrying heavy backpacks (cargo bicycles)
- Social interaction with other people – building new relationships, and
- Reduced congestion on public transport.
- Transperth Sardines
PinkeDSR Comments: “Western Australia is a great place for this type of idea – our climate, roads, scenery and love of sport and physical activity means that this is something that could work well – not only in the metro area, but also within regional towns.
How about speaking to your local government, workplace health coordinator or colleagues about getting something up and ‘running’ in your area? Are there any programs or ideas that you think might work in your community/workplace?”