With more choice than ever before for today’s holiday-goers, standing out from the crowd is essential. There are many ways to achieve this, but upgrading your holiday park’s sports areas to create family-inclusive spaces is one of the best, simplest and most cost-effective.
The emphasis here is on family-inclusive – especially when you consider that families are the group that takes the most holidays, according to a report by leading travel experts, ABTA.
But what does a family-inclusive space actually look like? To me, it’s a place where the whole family – regardless of age or ability – can come together to equally participate in an activity, sporting or otherwise. But how many sports areas do you know (or have at your park) that truly tick this box?
If I asked you to picture your typical sports or play area, most of the parents would probably be sat or stood around the edge, while a few of them push swings and play other supporting roles in their children’s activities.
With that said, it’s easy for sports areas to feel like ‘child-only’ zones that are off-limits to adults, but if you break down that barrier, magic can happen. No-longer are adults the spectators, they’re now the participants – enjoying activity side-by-side with their children. That’s when the real interaction occurs. That’s when the real memories are made – the type that will encourage visitors to your park to return time and time again.
You’re probably thinking that all sounds great, but how is this achieved? Depending on the condition of your current sports areas, you could go to town and give them a complete overhaul, but there are also some quick, easy and more budget-friendly ways to upgrade what you already have.
Target games, which are relatively inexpensive and can be retro-fitted to any spare wall or fence system, can instantly add more life and variety to your sports areas. And because they combine physical skills with mental skills (such as maths, logic and strategic thinking), they’re highly interactive and can be enjoyed as graduated challenges by individuals and groups of all ages and abilities.
What’s more, target games are also great for breaking up larger sports areas into smaller zones or ‘pockets’ as we like to call them at Playinnovation™. This, in turn, makes them feel less intimating and encourages the shyer adults and children to enter and enjoy these spaces.
Other quick and relatively inexpensive ways to spruce up your sports areas are adding funky, customised line markings and surface graphics, and installing colourful, pop-art inspired basketball hoops, which can turn any grey space into something beautiful and inviting for the whole family.
If you’re not looking to upgrade, but are instead starting from scratch, this provides an amazing opportunity to create a purposefully designed, family-inclusive space without the usual limits. To make this even more straight forward to achieve, Playinnovation™ has designed The HEX Court – a genuine multi-use games area which can be tailored to suit every individual park.
Consisting of six ‘pods’ – each offering a different sports activity or target game – The HEX Court provides ‘personal pockets’ for children and adults to play, whether they’re on their own, with friends or family, or part of an organised group. In one pod, you might find our patented ‘Street Pool’ target game, then, in the neighbouring pod, a table tennis table or some cool, outdoor gym equipment. Together, these pods create the ultimate fun and family-inclusive space.
Upgrading a sports area can often seem like a mammoth task, but hopefully, you can now see that it doesn’t have to be that way. If you stick to three keywords – zones, variety and interactivity – you’ll create sports areas that engage and delight all family members, leading to happier customers that can’t wait to return to your park year-after-year.
For more information about Playinnovation™, The HEX Court, and its sports area design services, visit playinnovation.co.uk. Contact Marco via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0203 409 5303.
By Marco Boi, Founder and Director of Playinnovation™