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Front Page » June 7, 2005 » Sports » Women's participation in outdoor activities increasing
Published 3,374 days ago

Women's participation in outdoor activities increasing


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By CHARI JELSMA
Sports Writer

Many outdoor activities are available in Carbon County for anyone who is interested, but in a recent study, an increase in participation by women was noted.

In the 2004 Outdoor Recreation Participation Study for the U.S. was conducted by the Leisure Trend Group, four important outdoor-related markets with the highest potential for growth in the next few years were noted. One of those important market areas was women.

Since the outdoors has always been a place of escape for most men, women are now embracing the possibilities of escape from their every day pressures and worries.

Women are now breaking away from the typical stereotypes of spending their leisure time enjoying sewing, shopping and arts and crafts and more are discovering the rejuvenating effects of outdoor recreation on both the mind and body.

Women are the fastest growing group for both the shooting and hunting industries. More than 2 million women spend time hunting and 4 million women target shooting. And these numbers are growing on a daily basis.

The growing interest is partly attributed to the increase in single parent families. Without a father figure introducing their children to recreation activities, women are taking up the responsibility. It is estimated that more and more single mothers want to participate in outdoor activities with their children.

Another factor may be the gravitation toward a more health conscious society. This belief emphasizes the benefits, both physical and mental, of spending more time in outdoor settings.

In another study conducted by the Indiana University School of Health and Physical Education and Recreation in late 2001, women had different affects to outdoor recreation. Some effects contributed to daily life, increasing self-sufficiency along with a possible shift in perspective.

The findings of the Women and Wilderness Recreation Study suggested that the recreation leads to positive changes in the view of the world and how society in general is normally perceived by women. After the completion of the study, researchers concluded by recommending that more opportunities for women to participate in outdoor recreation should be made.

In Carbon County, many opportunities are available to women that aren't available in other areas. Hunting, camping and fishing can all be enjoyed by women without a great travel expense due to Carbon County's rural setting.

Carbon County Recreation gives many chances for women to experience outdoor activities that would normally be impossible without their participation. Along with many classes and clinics offered to educate those who are inexperienced, there are many rafting trips and other activities available to anyone in the community that is interested in participating.

Even with these opportunities, not as many women as men feel comfortable participating in outdoor activities. Most women will easily admit to feeling out of place when in an outdoor setting.

More young girls are also becoming familiar with outdoor activities. Along with their mothers, girls are participating more in fishing, camping, hunting and even target shooting.

Several opportunities for sports for girls are also provided by Carbon County Recreation. Carbon County Recreation has several clinics and teams for girls to participate in including softball, peewee softball, cheer leading, girls basketball and volleyball along with chances to participate in canoeing and hiking trips.


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