Pictured are Amy Graham (left) and Patti-Anne Tracey.

ANTIGONISH: Two members of the defending Atlantic University Sport (AUS) champion X-Women hockey team have developed a sexual violence and awareness package for sports organizations across Canada.

Antigonish native Patti-Anne Tracey and Amy Graham indicate they built their program and module topics for their workshops utilizing previous research in the field, exploring successful policies and compiling recurring themes.

“Our workshops follow the ‘Teach the Coach’ model, with the hope of educating all members in sport organizations on sexualized violence prevention,” they said. “It is our hope that Sexual Violence Education will be included as part of mandatory training for coaches and all members in leadership positions.”

As part of the duo’s initiative, they have launched TEAM in SVP (Together Everyone Achieves More in Sexual Violence Prevention) https://x2017tet.wixsite.com/teaminsvp which is designed for coaches, athletic directors, educators, sport administrators, mentors and leaders.

Currently there are three modules; introduction to sexual violence in sport, educational topics and having meaningful conversations with your athletes, and consent; and acts as a centerpiece to the TEAM in SVP Web site.

Their motivation behind this idea grew from their university academic and athletic experiences.

“We have developed a strong understanding regarding the role sport plays in our society and how sport has the capacity to be a positive platform and avenue for change,” they said. “However, it is important to acknowledge that sport is also a place where violence can manifest in various ways.”

During the 2019-20 academic year, Tracey and Graham were both invited to represent the X-Women hockey team and serve on a committee of student athletes called, “X-Out Sexual Violence”.

“This initiative inspired us to become facilitators and lead workshops for fellow teammates,” they said. “Through our experience and involvement in sport, we have been inspired to further educate ourselves on this subject with hopes of positively impacting sport associations across Canada.”

Tracey, a student in the Schwartz School of Business, and Graham, a student in the human kinetics program – were amongst six recipients to receive an assist from the prestigious Wallace Family Entrepreneurship Fund – allowing for coaching and assistance for 12-weeks from StFX staff and faculty mentors while engaging in learning activities that help explore and develop an enterprise venture.

“We believe that the knowledge and education we have gained through our sport and volunteer efforts has better prepared us to train and lead others on sexual violence subtopics that will meaningfully resonate within communities,” they said. “Our goal is to make Saint Francis Xavier University greater, Nova Scotia and sports communities across the nation a safer, healthier, and more positive space for all individuals.”