ACC Develops an Outreach Initiative Aimed at Connecting Student-Athletes With Young People in Our Championship Communities

Nov. 1, 2010

GREENSBORO, NC - The Atlantic Coast Conference instituted an outreach program called "ACC Community Connections" aimed at teaching life lessons to elementary and middle school students in the communities in which the league student-athletes compete in their end-of-the-season ACC Championships.

"This is a terrific way for our student-athletes to give back to the communities that host ACC Championships," stated ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "The lessons that our athletes have learned in the areas of teamwork, adversity, competition, sportsmanship, triumph and defeat are valuable ones that can be shared with so many youth as we know they will face similar situations in school, home and life.  Our student-athletes strongly desire to give back to our communities."

The 2010 ACC Field Hockey and Men's and Women's Soccer Championships will be the first opportunity for the program to extend into ACC communities.  Representatives from the ACC member institutions that sponsor the respective sports will travel to a local elementary school during their Championship week.  Participating elementary schools have been selected by the Life Skills Director of the Championships' host institution and the ACC Director of Student-Athlete Programs Shamaree Brown.

Team representatives, consisting of coaches, student-athletes and team athletic trainers, will teach about a predetermined life lesson, such as nutrition or sportsmanship, and read a children's book that correlates to that topic.  In addition, children will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn about how ACC student-athletes used the same life lessons in their youth.

A kid-friendly handout that introduces the Atlantic Coast Conference, its member institutions and one of the ACC Championships will be distributed to the classroom visited. Each handout also serves as a free entry for one child to a single game of the respective Championship.

Following the school visit, a representative from the elementary school or district will be presented at halftime of the Championship game of the respective tournament with several copies of the book, which was read to the students earlier in the week.

For more information on ACC Championships, please visit the league's Championship Central page at: www.theACC.com/championships.