SAIT earns its first CCAA Innovation Award

SAIT earns its first CCAA Innovation Award

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is this year’s recipient of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s Innovation Award for its Trojans Leadership Training initiative.

Wade Kolmel, Athletics and Recreation Director at SAIT, accepted the award this evening at the CCAA Hall of Fame Banquet in Quebec City.

The Innovation Award recognizes a CCAA member institution that has developed an initiative that demonstrates unique marketing, communication or technological advances in its athletic program.

This is the first Innovation Award for SAIT, which has earned a record five CCAA Community Service Awards.

“SAIT has been among the most innovative institutions in the CCAA, introducing new initiatives such as the highly successful Make Some Noise for Mental Health, which has quickly spread across many campuses throughout Canada,” said David Munro, CCAA VP Sport Development. “Their programs are creative, practical and even transferable to other institutions who may wish to start similar programs.”

This season, as a next step in the award-winning Make Some Noise for Mental Health awareness campaign, SAIT Athletics has created Trojans Leadership Training. The first opportunity with the new initiative is the Respect in Sport Activity Leader online training program, which is being offered to all SAIT Trojans student-athletes, coaches, and staff.

SAIT is the first post-secondary athletics department in the CCAA to offer such training. The Respect in Sport Activity Leader program was chosen as the first type of training because it educates, promotes respect and empowers the bystander, especially when dealing with youth.

SAIT continues to be a leader in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) and CCAA by working on new initiatives for wellness and leadership strategies and this was showcased when they connected with Sheldon Kennedy and the Respect Group. Kennedy spoke at the ACAC AGM in December 2017 about the initiative and working with SAIT, where he encouraged other schools to be involved.

Since beginning the promotion of the Respect in Sport Activity Leader Training in January, 50 people have participated in training with the majority being certified. By October 2018, recruits, returning players, coaches and all staff will be encouraged to complete the Respect in Sport Activity Leader training.

The training will be encouraged annually to any new student-athletes, coaches and staff with certification lasts up to three years. As well, additional opportunities for leadership and wellness training will be investigated to be added to the new Trojan Leadership Training initiative.

The Trojans Leadership Training initiative is an investment back into the student-athletes, coaches and staff as leaders in the community and sport sector. The Respect in Sport Activity Leader training is the first step related to the SAIT Trojans’ commitment to mental health, leadership and wellness through knowledge and developing resiliency.

The Respect in Sport Activity Leader curriculum in the online training includes:

  • The power of perception
  • A leader’s duty of care
  • The physical, emotional and cognitive needs of young people of all ages
  • Recognizing/dealing with bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD)
  • Short/long term mental health outcomes related to BAHD
  • Hazing
  • Understanding behaviour dynamics
  • Concussion, injury management and physical literacy
  • Empowering the bystander
  • Taking care of your own emotional well-being

“The CCAA is tremendously proud of SAIT as all of those involved who continue to challenge conventional ways of thinking and doing things with creative and unique approaches,” said Munro. “This ultimately benefits other institutions in the CCAA who are also looking for new ways to deal with mental health and wellness issues and trying to mold young leaders for our future generations.”