More than 800 students from 20 elementary schools across Niagara will be at Brock University Thursday for the inaugural Badgers vs. Bullying event.
The outreach event is an initiative by the Brock men’s basketball program to help educate Niagara youths in grades six, seven and eight about bullying issues.
“This social awareness school day event was something I knew I wanted to bring to Brock and be a part of our program,” said men’s basketball head coach Charles Kissi. “I think it’s so important that we as educators at Brock be leaders in our community and give back. We understand the needs of young people today and it’s important that we help facilitate and support those needs so they can stand strong as they move forward as young adults.”
The event starts at 10:25 a.m. with the students meeting the coaches and players and listening to them discuss the bullying issue. Also addressing the crowd will be Anthony Volk, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Child and Youth Studies who has done in-depth research on bullying.
“Events like this allow students to hear the truth about bullying, give them encouragement to stand up to it, and show how real-life people have dealt with it in their recent past,” Volk said. “This is particularly important for Grade 6-8 students, given that bullying tends to peak during Grades 8 and 9.”
At noon, the Badgers will host the University of Victoria Vikes in a pre-season men’s basketball game at Bob Davis Gymnasium.
Kissi said his players are looking forward to putting on a show for the students.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our guys to be mentors, to learn and to grow from this experience and have a greater understanding what it is to be a student athlete here at Brock.”
The inaugural Badgers vs. Bullying event quickly reached its maximum capacity of 800 students. Another 2,000 students from dozens of additional schools had to be turned away for this year, but the students will all be given free tickets to a future Brock Badgers men’s basketball home game. Plans to host next year’s social awareness event at a bigger venue are already being considered.
What: Badgers vs. Bullying
When: Oct. 22, 2015, 10:25 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Bob Davis Gymnasium, Brock University
Who: 800 elementary school children from across Niagara