The Value of Recreational Sports in Higher Education

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What attracts students to a college—academics? recreational sports? the campus recreation center? If you selected all three answers, you are right.

Most students choose a college or university for its academic merits, but another key factor in their decision is the recreational sports programs and facilities. Recreational sports are an important component to students’ quality of life on campus and to a college’s recruitment and retention of students. NIRSA contracted Kerr-Downs Research Associates to conduct a nationwide research project to determine the value of recreational sport on college campuses. More than 2,600 students from 16 colleges participated in this study, making it the largest representative group of college students from multiple colleges ever studied with respect to the value of participation in recreational sports. This study examined the value and contributions of recreational sports to participants’ lives and documented the buying power of participants in recreational sports. The first of its kind in research, The Value of Recreational Sports in Higher Education makes a strong the case for campus recreational sports programs and facilities that will support the mission of your college into the future.

About the Author

NIRSA is the leading resource for professional and student development, education, and research in collegiate recreational sports. Headquartered in Corvallis, Oregon, NIRSA was established in 1950 at a meeting of 22 African American men and women from 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities at Dillard University. NIRSA now has nearly 4,000 highly trained professional, student, and associate members throughout the United States, Canada, and other countries. NIRSA members serve an estimated 5.5 million students who regularly participate in campus recreational sport programs. NIRSA’s mission is to provide for the education and development of its members and to foster effective recreational programs, facilities, and services for diverse populations. The association’s commitment to excellence is shown in its use of resources that promote ethical and healthy lifestyle choices.


The Value of Recreational Sports in Higher Education
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.