USM SAAC Hosting “Spike the Stigma” Volleyball Tournament

USM SAAC Hosting “Spike the Stigma” Volleyball Tournament

 

GORHAM, Maine – Huskies' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in partnership with University Counseling Services and The ROCC (Recovery Oriented Campus Center) is hosting a Mental Health Awareness volleyball tournament, "Spike the Stigma" on Sunday, October 14 (4:00 – 6:00 p.m.) in Hill Gymnasium on the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine. Contact USM SAAC Advisor and Head Women's Basketball Coach Samantha Allen at Samantha.j.allen@maine.edufor more information or to submit a team. 

The "Spike the Stigma" volleyball tournament is sure to be action-packed, fun and a display of outstanding athleticism by all who participate.  The event is free of charge and open to all USM community members. With teams comprised of 6-8 people, Spike the Stigma Champions will be crowned out of a single-elimination format, with brackets created once teams have entered. Games will be played to 15, and prizes will be awarded to the tournament champions. Along with volleyball action and competition, University Counseling Services and The ROCC will be on-hand at the event providing educational materials, and student-peer speakers will be present sharing their stories of how reaching out and seeking assistance changed their lives for the better. 

"After last year's Kick the Stigma Kickball tournament, we wanted to continue to offer a fun and relaxed atmosphere for people to learn about on-campus support options regarding mental health," said SAAC Vice President Katie Howe of the women's basketball team. "We also wanted to change up the athletic competition to keep it exciting, and the volleyball team inspired us with Spike the Stigma. Although "spike" is no longer used in the sport, it is a strong word illustrating that there is no place for stigma when it comes to ensuring mental health."

Through this effort and others, Huskies' SAAC is continuing its mission to fulfill its five focus areas of Athletics, Education, Community, Citizenship and Wellness. Recognized with the University of Southern Maine Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Huskies' SAAC was recognized by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) with the Josten's Community Service Award for the 13th time when it earned honorable mention honors for its Active Bystander and Peer Advocacy Training program initiated in 2016.  From this initial offering in 2016, USM SAAC has made sponsoring a mental health awareness event part of its yearly programing pursuant to the lead of the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee which made peer education on mental health issues a top priority during the July 2016 NCAA National Convention in Indianapolis.  

 "All of us have struggled at one point or another, and there have been negative connotations associated with seeking help for our mental health such as feelings of weakness, failure, or inadequacy that are simply untrue," said Samantha Allen, Head Women's Basketball Coach and SAAC Advisor.  "Every student-athlete knows that to perform at our best, we need to be on top of our mental game as well as the physical.  Our goal as USM's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is to facilitate educational opportunities for students about the resources available on campus and in the surrounding communities with a fun activity such as kickball. It's time that we break the stigma of mental health, and embrace the power of positive messaging in how we think, speak, and act."

 

WHAT IS USM SAAC?

The University of Southern Maine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a student-led group comprised of selected student-athletes representing each of our 22 intercollegiate teams. As members of SAAC, these representatives actively participate in the organization, administration, implementation and evaluation of the collegiate athletic program at USM. 

The goals of SAAC focus on improving the quality of the athletic experience for all participants, involving student-athletes in educational programming and leadership opportunities, and implementing outreach programs that support and nurture the growth and development of children in the surrounding communities.

Each year, USM SAAC sponsors several community-related activities throughout the school year ranging from volunteerism (such as SAAC's volunteered time at Barbara Bush Children's Hospital and Preble Street Food Pantry), to its Unified Sports Program partnership with Maine Special Olympics, and fun-filled community activities (Skate with the Huskies, and the award-winning Husky Community Halloween Party). 

 

2018-2019 USM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Officers

President:

Kim Howrigan, Junior, Women's Basketball

Vice President: 

Katie Howe, Sophomore, Women's Basketball

Secretary:

Sissy Smith, Junior, Women's Tennis

Public Relations:

Johnny Kyte, Junior, Men's Ice Hockey

 

 

Civic Engagement Team

Miriam Wood, Junior, Women's Lacrosse

Elise Laslavic, Junior, Women's Lacrosse

Sarah Michaud, Junior, Women's Soccer

Zach Hoyle, Sophomore, Men's Track & Field

 

 

 

 

Awards and Honors

2000-2001

USM Outstanding Student Organization Award, Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit 

2002-2003

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit 

2003

USM Outstanding Student Organization Award 

2003-2004

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit 

2004-2005

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit 

2005-2006

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit 

2006-2007

USM Outstanding Student Organization Award, Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit 

2008

USM Outstanding Student Organization Award, USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award 

2009

USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award 

2010-2011

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Honorable Mention (Array of Projects Category) 

2012-2013

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Honorable Mention (On-going Project Category) 

2013-2014

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Honorable Mention (On-going Project Category) 

2015

USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2016

USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2017

USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2018

USM Event of the Year Award 

2018

Josten's NADIIIA Community Service Honorable Mention (One-Time Project Category). 

 

 

–cac–