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A pair of Wilmington University student-athletes, accompanied by three athletic-department administrators, took part in the annual APPLE conference last weekend in a hope to raise awareness and bring back knowledge to share in student-athlete wellness and substance abuse prevention.
According to the conference’s website, the APPLE Conference, developed and coordinated by the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the University of Virginia, is the leading national training symposiums dedicated to substance abuse prevention and health promotion for student athletes and athletics department administrators. The goal of the APPLE conference is to assist colleges in promoting student athlete health and wellness by empowering teams of student- athletes and administrators to create an institution-specific action plan.
Looking to bring pertinent information back to Wilmington on enhancing and maintaining prevention and substance abuse policies, volleyball junior Brittany Biddle and cross country sophomore Althea Davidson were joined by Compliance Coordinator Erin Harvey, assistant athletic trainer Amanda Pupillo and men’s soccer head coach Nick Papanicolas for the conference in Indianapolis.
“Being our first year at the conference, I didn’t really know what to expect at the beginning,” Wilmington’s Compliance Coordinator, Assistant Athletic Director, and Senior Woman Administrator Erin Harvey said. “But by the end of the weekend, I was astonished by the involvement of our APPLE team and am certain we are going to be implementing a lot of ideas and materials that came away from the conference. It was an outstanding conference. We had a blast and plan to return to future APPLE conferences.”
There are seven “slices” of the APPLE Model: education & alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) prevention programs; drug testing; sanctioning; referral & counseling; expectations & attitudes; policies; and recruitment practices.
The APPLE conference allows the administrators and student-athletes to assess the athletics department’s strengths and weaknesses in substance abuse prevention; share ideas and resources with other colleges and universities; learn about exemplary policies and programs including Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) programs; listen to exciting speakers and experts in the field; and return to campus with specific resources and an individualized plan for implementing change.
In all, the conference was a valuable tool for the student-athletes and administrators, with the ability to teach fellow Wildcat student-athletes the value of what they learned during the upcoming semester.
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - Indianapolis, Ind.