Babson Athletics, Health and Wellness Form Project TEAM Through NCAA Choices Grant

Babson Athletics, Health and Wellness Form Project TEAM Through NCAA Choices Grant

BABSON PARK, Mass.—The Babson College Departments of Athletics and Recreation and Health and Wellness were awarded a three-year, $30,000 NCAA CHOICES grant to fund Project TEAM (Team Engagement for Alcohol Management), an original and innovative model to address the culture of high-risk drinking at the school.

Project TEAM approaches alcohol abuse prevention through a holistic lens that includes related topics such as general wellness, sexual assault prevention, hazing prevention, and community engagement. Project TEAM has utility beyond Athletics and is designed for any student group, social organization or team.

"We are incredibly excited about the official launch of Project TEAM," said Babson Senior Director of Athletics and Athletic Advancement Mike Lynch and Babson Associate Dean of Students for Wellness Ryan Travia. "A new initiative of this magnitude is possible thanks to the strong collaboration and close working relationship between Athletics and Health and Wellness. Project TEAM is a unique and innovative approach to addressing issues related to alcohol use, hazing, healthy relationships, individual well-being, and team dynamics."

Each of Babson's 22 varsity programs will participate in four workshops over the course of three years. Each workshop will be co-facilitated by a coach and student leader from the team. The co-facilitator pairs will attend a workshop in advance of each team's workshop. Men's and women's basketball, men's ice hockey, and men's and women's swimming & diving will begin the program on Thursday.

The four workshop themes are individual wellness, team development, systems and policy, and community engagement. Each team will receive funding to support a positive team development activity (after the second workshop) and a community service/engagement project (after the fourth workshop).

"Through training and empowering coaches and student-athletes to examine their respective team cultures and traditions, we endeavor to support holistic health and well-being at Babson through a proactive approach to prevention and education," said Travia. "We are hopeful that this initiative will serve as a model for other members of the Babson community and peer institutions who are committed to promoting health and safety among students."

Assisting in writing the grant and developing the program was Travia, Rick Burr (Director of Athletic Performance), Ashleigh Hala (Associate Director of Wellness and Director of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services) and Leah Berkenwald (Assistant Director of Wellness and Coordinator of Alcohol & Other Drug Services).

The NCAA CHOICES program provides funding for NCAA member institutions and conferences to integrate departments into campus wide efforts to reduce alcohol abuse. NCAA CHOICES projects must partner with other campus departments in the development and implementation of effective alcohol education projects.