USA Ultimate Competition Working Group Meeting - Youth Outreach Update
Posted: December 15, 2015 02:27 PM
National Volunteer Structure Defined; Diversity Task Force, Restorative Justice, Youth-Serving Partnerships Areas of Focus in 2016
Colorado Springs, Colo. (Dec. 15, 2015)—USA Ultimate’s second report following the annual Competition Working Group retreat earlier this month focuses on the national governing body’s youth outreach efforts.
The Youth Outreach Working Group consists of USA Ultimate staff members Dan Raabe and Sarah Powers, as well as three volunteers: Girls’ Ultimate Movement (GUM) Chair Heather Ann Brauer, National Outreach Director Claire Chastain and Girls’ National Outreach Director Rachel Johnson.
The working group finalized a national and grassroots volunteer structure that reaffirms the organization’s commitment to facilitating youth participation with a special emphasis on growing the number of girls who learn about and play ultimate through GUM. Underneath each of the three aforementioned national-level volunteers sits regional- and state-level or task-specific volunteers. Both the national outreach director and the girls’ outreach director oversee four regional directors (northeast, south, central, west), while the GUM chair oversees four volunteers focused on the areas of curriculum development, media, data and research, and pilot programs. Each regional director then leads a team of state coordinators who help deliver and manage various programs locally.
As USA Ultimate continues to build upon the GUM program, which focuses solely on girls, the working group also identified the need to enhance outreach efforts aimed at underserved individuals and communities.
As a result, a task force will be created to address diversity and the accessibility of ultimate for those with a socioeconomic disadvantage and position the sport as a means of enriching one’s life through Spirit of the Game. As an example, the group explored the possibility of connecting ultimate to Restorative Justice programs currently used in schools and community-based programs to rehabilitate offenders and heal victims.
In 2015 USA Ultimate forged partnerships with several national youth-serving organizations, including the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America and the Jewish Community Center Association of North America. Looking ahead, USA Ultimate’s GUM program is set to make progress on one of its original five priorities by piloting its middle school curriculum through other youth-serving entities on the local level. Organizations identified to potentially support this initiative in 2016 include the YMCA/YWCA, Girl Scouts, Kiwanis Builders Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Girls’ Middle School and Youth Group.
USA Ultimate is also committed to expanding its presence at physical education conferences around the country. This past year, it attended four, however with a new volunteer structure in place and additional resources committed to increasing its exposure to school teachers and administrators, USA Ultimate is looking to double that total next year.
Finally, with the expansion of USA Ultimate’s outreach volunteer structure, there is an unprecedented opportunity for members of the ultimate community to get involved with promoting the sport, its values and benefits. Anyone interested in supporting these efforts are encouraged to contact USA Ultimate Manager of Youth and Education Programs Dan Raabe at email@example.com
At the conclusion of this series of working group reports, USA Ultimate will conduct a Q&A with key volunteers and USA Ultimate staff for each of these working groups. Please send any questions you’d like us to answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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