Talking Floorball at NIRSA Region VI Conference

Any chance i get to talk about floorball is a chance I can’t pass up. I’m thankful for opportunities to do so, and I try to be creative with the audience I can get in front of. Obviously you need to think about who you’re presenting to and the space you have to work with. If you didn’t know, my day job is working in campus recreation as the Director of Recreation at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, WA. As part of my career I’ve been involved with a variety of organizations and associations as a member. The organization I’m currently most active in is the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA). As a whole NIRSA is broken into six regions across the US, and an additional region comprised of Canada. It’s focus is on developing and improving campus recreation from the professional and student levels working to develop and improve best practices across all facets of recreation operations.

I’m located in Region VI which is comprised of HI, AK, WA, OR, ID, MT, UT, CO, AZ, NV, NM, and CA. When looking at the landscape of potential markets to grow, working with colleges could be a great one in time. There are a number of challenges to this including education about the sport, student buy in, competition with established sports, and limited space to name a few. While these challenges exist there is still a place for Floorball on college campuses.

To get in front of colleagues I started submitted presentation proposals to talk about floorball. I submitted and had my presentation accepted for the Region VI conference in Bellingham, WA. The focus of the presentation was built around educating people about the sport and why it’s different, and to get them active in playing it. We talk a lot about the concept of sticks in hands, and I think it’s one of the best ways for people to feel the sport up close. If they can feel it they can start to imagine doing it in their facility, or start to think about how to incorporate it. That is a crucial component to winning over believers.

At the conference I was able to do just that. During the presentation and after I had many conversations about Floorball. Will anything come of that? Time will tell, but right now the key is making people aware of the sport. While they may not jump into it right away having the knowledge about it in the first place might help steer them towards it in the future. While I tried to coordinate ahead of time about the space I would be speaking in, and explained that I needed activity space for the hands on portion of the presentation. In reality things didn’t quite work out the way I was hoping it would. It was a little bit of a bummer, but in the end we were able to do something. That’s the way it goes sometimes. You don’t always get the space, audience, or message out the way that you’re intending. When presenting you have walk a fine line between educating and selling the sport. If we want it to grow we need to be able to present it in a manner that reaches the audience and excites them to want to explore the sport more. Going forward I’m hopeful that the work done will help educate more people and grow the sport at the same time. Either way my mission will remain the same, and I’ll keep pushing forward.

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