Inside INdiana Business

Grand Park to head up COVID youth sports study

(photo courtesy of Grand Park Sports Campus)

WESTFIELD, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The city of Westfield and IUPUI will Tuesday launch a nationwide study assessing public perceptions and youth sports amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Andy Cook and Grand Park Sports Campus Director William Knox say the data will be imperative for venues, event organizers and sports organizations as they evaluate health and safety modifications over the next 12-18 months.

Leaders from the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute will assist with the study, which will gauge user perceptions of satisfaction and safety at youth sports facilities. The group says it will specifically look to identify user attitudes on 10-12 adaptations that the sports and event industries are considering when facilities reopen.

“We know that one of the biggest challenges to reactivating youth sports in the wake of this pandemic is getting families comfortable with the ‘next’ normal,” said Cook. “This research will allow us to hear what families, athletes, coaches, event organizers are thinking and expecting as they return to youth sports.”

Officials say the survey will be sent to parents, youth sports leaders and governing bodies nationwide on Tuesday. Researchers expect initial results to be available by June 1.

“This research will be imperative as we look to safely return to play at Grand Park and other sports facilities in Indiana and beyond,” said Knox. “Venue owners and sports organizations need to know what their guests and families need in order to meet and exceed safety expectations. This survey will allow us to go directly to the end user to understand how they expect event staff, athletes and spectators to interact with each other.”

The park says it is leading a nationwide conversation on the safest way to restart youth sports. The park’s “Step 1 Reopen Strategy” has already been released, detailing behavioral guidelines and enhanced sanitation.

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