Pirates and Pirates Charities to Host Forum for Local High School, College Athletic Staff

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Pittsburgh, Pa. (August 29, 2015) – The Pirates and Pirates Charities, in partnership with FISA Foundation and the United Way of Allegheny County, invite local colt, super colt, high school and college coaches and administrators to step up to the plate on Saturday, August 29 for a unique coaching forum exploring the connection between coaching, mentoring and promoting healthy, respectful relationships.

The Coaching Boys into Men Symposium will include a discussion of mentorship led by Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle, including the role coaches play in building character and shaping the lives of their players’ – both on and off the field. The symposium will also feature an overview of Coaching Boys into Men, a national leadership program that equips athletic coaches with the tools they need to talk with young male athletes – with an ultimate goal of preventing sexual assault and adolescent relationship abuse and building respectful non-violent relationships.

Nationally, nearly one in three adolescent girls are a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse by a dating partner. Coaching Boys into Men is a research-based program that focuses prevention messages on male student athletes, building on the role of their coaches as critical adult influencers who have a positive impact on how they think and behave. The program decreases perpetration of abuse and increases effective bystander intervention. Athletes who complete the program are more likely to intervene if a peer is being disrespectful or abusive.

“FISA Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Pirates, Pirates Charities and the United Way to promote adoption of Coaching Boys into Men,” remarks Kristy Trautmann, executive director of FISA Foundation. “In many schools, athletes are among the leaders and are in a unique position to influence their peers. These young men have the ability to set the standard for what types of behavior are acceptable. This program taps into that leadership, giving high school and college athletes the skills and confidence to speak up to interrupt abuse and promote respect for women and girls.”

“Professional sports organizations should lead, and not reluctantly follow, in creating culture of respect for women,” said Frank Coonelly, Pirates President . “We feel this is an important initiative, and one that we are proud to support. The Pirates are extremely eager to support youth baseball in our community. What kids are doing on the field is only one part of the equation. Helping them to grow into well-rounded, positive individuals is just as important. Clint and his coaches are excellent role models for amateur coaches. We hope everyone in attendance will benefit from being there.”

Earlier this year the Pirates partnered with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and local advocacy groups to promote the Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence, including producing a Public Service Announcement that has been widely aired on Root Sports. (PSA is available at http://southwestpasaysnomore.org/video/the-pirates-say-no-more/.)

Coaching Boys into Men is also a component of Southwest PA Says NO MORE, a regional initiative to end domestic and sexual violence that is supported by a partnership between FISA Foundation, United Way and the Heinz Endowments. Additional information is available at http://southwestpasaysnomore.org/initiative/coaching-boys-into-men.

The Coaching Boys into Men Symposium will be held at the Rivertowne Hall of Fame Club at PNC Park from 11 am – 2 pm. Registration and refreshments begin at 10:30 am. Program will include lunch.

The event is free, but space is limited. To register, email Chaz Kellem at chaz.kellem@pirates.com.

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