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Providence Earns CCAA’s Community Service Award

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Scott Masterson

Providence University College (PUC), with its ‘Pilot Initiative’ program, has earned the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Community Service Award on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

The CCAA’s Community Service Award, presented annually since 2000, recognizes a member institution that has successfully developed and administered a community relations program.

“The ‘Pilot Initiative’ was such a great program to launch, especially as we transition out of the pandemic when our communities need to feel connected again,” said Joel Mrak, CCAA VP Safe Sport. “These student-athletes are gaining valuable training and life experience that will serve them, and their community, well in the future as they demonstrate that they are more than just an athlete.”

Scott Masterson, Director of Athletics at Providence, received the award at the CCAA Hall of Fame Banquet in Halifax, NS. Providence is the first institution from the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) to receive a CCAA member award.

The purpose of the ‘Pilot Initiative’ is to make an impact in local communities, while simultaneously teaching student-athletes the value of serving others.

“Providing opportunities for our athletes to get real-world, hands-on experience in serving others is a key foundation of our program,” said Masterson. “Servant leadership is something that our athletes will be able to bring with them to whatever communities they move to in the future, and we are grateful to have an opportunity to work together with our athletes to serve our local communities while they are part of our program.”

Providence begins by training and equipping its student-athletes on how to be leaders and how to serve. With internal training, they aim to build the “total athlete,” an initiative meant to develop other aspects outside of athletic ability.  

The ‘Pilot Initiative’ sends all 90+ Providence student-athletes out into local communities to impact, serve and build relationships. In total, the combined efforts of Providence student-athletes this past season added up to more than 2,000 hours of service in Southern Manitoba.

Some of the projects this past season included:

  • Refuel Events: An internal training program where Providence equips and trains its student-athletes before sending them out into the communities. The events include leadership training by in-house leadership director, ongoing small-group training for all team leaders, as well as having special speakers come to train and teach our athletes.
  • Bear Clan: Bear Clan is a non-profit that makes a massive difference in the rougher parts of Winnipeg by providing security, clean-up, and essential supplies. Bear Clan started as an initiative to help provide protection for the aboriginal communities. Providence sends various teams throughout the year to assist in Bear Clan’s initiatives in the inner city of Winnipeg.
  • Sports Clinics: Through a partnership with Niverville’s Community Resource and Recreational Centre, Providence Athletics offers sports clinics for local youth.
  • Youth Drop-ins: Student-athletes participate in local drop-ins where they build relationships and impact local youth.
  • Food Drives: Teams do food drives where they go to different neighborhoods and collect food donations. This food is then used by the local food banks to help the less fortunate.
  • Operation Christmas Child: All six varsity teams join the school community to build gifts for less fortunate children across the world.
  • Local Non-Profits: Teams volunteer regularly by providing manual labour hours at non-profits such as retirement homes, schools, churches and food banks.
  • Local Towns: Student-athletes volunteer for local township districts where they help with manual labour tasks such as raking leaves, shoveling snow and painting.

Author: MCAC News

Author - Athletics