Mansfield, Mass. - The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), in conjunction with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) recently hosted a webinar focusing on race and the student-athlete experience. The webinar, entitled 'Valuing Every Player: A Discussion on Sports and Race,' took place on July 16 and was hosted by PCA trainers Mike Jackson and Erik Johnson.
The webinar featured open and honest discussion about the different types of experiences student-athletes may have based on the color of their skin. Each of the conference's member institutions had at least one representative that participated in the discussion.
"Our webinar with Positive Coaching Alliance was truly eye opening and enlightening. It was great to talk with other coaches and administrators about how we can have this conversation with our student-athletes and be open to all of the differences that we must be able and willing to have during this time," said Michelle Proulx, Associate Athletic Director and Women's Basketball Coach at Elms College. "It was so wonderful to hear about shared experiences and the best way to move forward with our student-athletes to make them feel heard, appreciated and understood."
"This was a great initiative led by Commissioner VanRyn and the NECC," said New England College Director of Athletics Dave DeCew. "I felt both Mike and Eric were tremendous as the hosts of this discussion on sports and race. It was the start of a conversation that needs to continue to happen on all our campuses on a consistent basis."
The discussions will continue on the campuses within the conference going forward as the NECC works to provide a great experience for all student-athletes. "I thought this was a very valuable discussion," said NECC CommissionerJacob VanRyn. "People were challenged to view things differently and think outside their comfort zone. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I feel that all those that attended learned something during our time together."
"We all get better when we get out of our comfort zone," said PCA's Mike Jackson. "This was certainly a great group that was very engaging."
ABOUT POSITIVE COACHING ALLIANCE
PCA offers resources for coaches, parents, athletes, and leaders to make better athletes and better people. As young people return to playing sports after going through the trauma of being away from school, friends and sports due to the Coronavirus, we need to make sure our coaches are equipped with the skills to deal with their social and emotional needs. Because we believe life is a team sport, PCA, through our evidence-based curriculum, cultivates a positive, character-building environment that actively involves youth's social and emotional growth to ensure they take away the many life lessons that can be learned from sports done right. For more, visit positivecoach.org
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 16 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sport. Bay Path University, Becker College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College are the conference's current members. For more information, please visit neccathletics.com