Georgia Southern University students enrolled in the sport management course, “Facility and Event Management”, led by Assistant Professor Amy Rundio, Ph.D, worked with Associate Professor Gavin Colquitt, Ed.D., and Bulloch County schools to host an inclusive USA Track and Field RunJumpThrow event on May 3, 2019 at Southeast Bulloch High School. Under Rundio’s guidance, 40 students worked throughout the semester to secure and activate sponsorships, create a social marketing campaign, and organize and implement event operations for the one-day event.
RunJumpThrow is a free all-inclusive hands-on program that focuses on helping kids get excited about and interested in physical activity through track and field while learning fundamental skills in running, jumping and throwing. RunJumpThrow is built with adaptive components incorporated into the program tailored to meet the needs of children with different disabilities which will increase the inclusion of participants regardless of ability. Events like this give children who normally don’t have the opportunity to participate a chance to participate.
With roles focusing on event operations, sport management students Tyra Smith and Ella Ofstedahl reflected on their experience planning and implementing the RunJumpThrow event.
Smith, a native of Madison, Georgia, who graduated this past fall, recalled how much the participants enjoyed the event. “After months of planning, seeing the event come together perfectly and smoothly with little to no problems was great. Witnessing the kids having fun while learning basic skills in track and having them come up to me at the end of the day to tell me how much they enjoyed the event is something I will always remember.”
“One younger female participant stated this was the best event she has ever been to and that she was coming back again next year,” stated junior sport management student Ofstedahl, a native of England. “Hearing this was really nice especially since I had helped organize the event.”
Both credited effective communication as one of the key elements for the success of the event.