HGTC turns sports tourism into career field of dreams

sportsWhoever said life isn’t all fun and games must not have known about a career in sports tourism. What was once considered child’s play is now big business, especially in the booming sports tourism market of the Grand Strand.

Local municipalities have wised up to the potential windfall by building new sports facilities to accommodate more and larger tournaments and showcases, such as the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center indoor complex, the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, and the Grand Park sports multiplex at Market Common. Sports tourism has an estimated $157 million annual impact in Myrtle Beach alone.

In response to the increased demand for a well-trained labor base, Horry Georgetown Technical College recently added a two-year associates degree in sports tourism. And like the local explosion in the sports tourism industry, the response to HGTC’s new degree has been impressive in its first year, according to program director Lawson Holland.

“We thought we would have 8 to 10 students the first year, so we were tickled to death to get 24 in the fall, and then 15 more in spring,” Holland said. “Now we have students doing summer internships all over the Grand Strand. We don’t have a final number for the class coming in this fall but it’s definitely growing.”

Holland sees the program as an excellent opportunity for recent and future high school graduates looking to parlay their passion for athletics into a career. With the potential for sports tourism jobs on the horizon, HGTC is providing students with a well-rounded education in the industry and all the tools they need to advance.

“We have a lot of young men and women in Horry, Georgetown and Marion counties who don’t know what they want to do for a career but they have a passion for sports,” he said. “This program is a perfect fit, especially with the growth of sports tourism on the Grand Strand. These are good local jobs and we’re preparing students to do them.”

As the only associate degree program in the state, HGTC stands at the cutting edge of the industry. The program covers various aspects of sports tourism – tournament management, marketing, facilities – but puts the focus on the No. 1 response he received when putting together the curriculum – customer service.

“People don’t mind spending money to bring their kids to a tournament or a cheerleading competition, but they want and expect good customer service, and that’s what we want to give provide,” Holland said. “Who wouldn’t want to come to Myrtle Beach and bring the whole family, but they want to have a positive experience.”

The Grand Strand already has a huge advantage over other markets that have tapped into sports tourism. As a popular family vacation destination, Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas have a nice calling card for tournament organizers looking for an attractive host city for its players and parents. Thanks in part to HGTC, the Strand will be ready to cash in during the shoulder seasons with a knowledgeable and experience work force.

“I wish something like this had been around when I was young,” said Holland, a former assistant coach for the Washington Redskins and a fund-raiser at CCU before starting the new sports tourism program at HGTC. “For young people who are interested in sports and wondering what they want to do for a career, this program provides a stepping stone into a growing industry.”

Photo courtesy of HGTC

Comments

comments

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swim

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swimIn the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina High [more]

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of Fame

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of FameThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced Monday the nine [more]

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debut

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debutOn the road for 12-straight days, which included a 10-day [more]

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia Tech

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia TechThe No. 2 Clemson football team opened 2018 ACC play [more]

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat Vandy

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat VandyJake Bentley threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, and [more]

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swim

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swimIn the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina High [more]

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of Fame

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of FameThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced Monday the nine [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach