USM SAAC Hosting “Knockout the Stigma” Tournament : Mental Health Awareness – Support, Not Stigma

Hosted by USM SAAC with USM Veterans Services, The ROCC and University Health Services.
Hosted by USM SAAC with USM Veterans Services, The ROCC and University Health Services.

KNOCKOUT THE STIGMA TOURNAMENT | OCTOBER 10 6:30-8:00 PM | HILL GYMNASIUM | FREE | FREE FOOD & PRIZES | 

TOURAMENT RULES

GORHAM, Maine – Huskies' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in partnership with University Health Services, USM Veterans Services, and The ROCC (Recovery Oriented Campus Center) are coming together to host "Knockout the Stigma" basketball tournament on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2019. 

Free of charge and open to all University of Southern Maine Community members, "Knockout the Stigma" will be a fun, informal event hosted at the Costello Sport Complex Fieldhouse's Hill Gymnasium from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  There will be free food and refreshments courtesy of Veterans Service, and The ROCC and Health Services are donating prizes. Contact USM SAAC Advisor and Head Women's Basketball Coach Samantha Allen at Samantha.j.allen@maine.edu to register. 

Hosting similar events (Spike The Stigma, Kick the Stigma) the past two years, USM SAAC continues to use this engaging event to facilitate educational opportunities for students about the variety of resources available on campus and in the surrounding communities to promote Mental Health Awareness. 

In addition to the friendly competition, University Health Services, Veterans Services and The ROCC will be on hand to provide educational materials, answer questions and give out prizes.  Dr. Erin Hatch of University Health Services will speak to participants prior to the competition, and USM SAAC member Megan Chase (Center Barnstead, N.H./Prospect), a member of the Huskies' women's soccer team, will be one of the student speakers. 

A favorite warm-up game for many of Southern Maine's athletic teams, Knockout is an adrenaline boosting game to play amongst peers.  To start everyone faces the basket in a single-file line.  The first player in line shoots and tries to make a basket before the person behind them makes their shot.  The competition will consist of six qualifying rounds before a final championship round. Players advancing to the championship round will be awarded a prize courtesy of the ROCC, and an overall champion will be crowned from the final six. 

Along with knockout 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.  

"This event has been a strong outreach program the last two years, and as a student organization 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 President Katie Howe (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) of the women's basketball team. "Each year we've changed up the athletic competition to keep it exciting, and as a basketball player I am excited to not only assist in hosting this important event, but to share part of my sport with what I hope is a lot of participants."

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. 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). 

In 2019, USM SAAC  was recognized at the national level with the first place prize for Community Service from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) in its inaugural Special Olympics category.  Huskies' SAAC was also recognized with a third place finish in NADIIIAA's Array of Activities award.  

 

 

2019-2020 USM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Officers

President:

Katie Howe, Senior, Women's Basketball

Vice President: 

Steve Gilbert, Senior, Men's Lacrosse

Secretary:

Kathleen Rattazzi, Junior, Softball

Treasurer:

Michelle Rowe, Sophomore Women's Basketball

 

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 – Spike the Stigma

2018

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

2019

Josten's NADIIIA Community Service Award – Third Place – Array of Activities

2019

Josten's NADIIIA Community Service Award – First Place – Special Olympics Activity

 

 

–cac–