Dr. Eric Zillmer Athletic Director with Coach Bruiser Flint Drexel Men’s Head Basketball Coach on: Athletes Giving Back
To open the day at the Sports for Social Change Conference, Dr. Eric Zillmer and Coach Bruiser Flint spoke on the topic of Athletes Giving Back.
We all know how it is for athletes to give back to their communities from a public relations standpoint, but Coach Flint and Dr. Zillmer gave us a look from an insider’s standpoint. One of the problems they spoke about is the idea on a person-to-person basis that some people are not people-persons. It is ok for an athlete to be an introvert; especially at the college level, people outside of the program have to realize that these athletes are still college kids, and kids in general. “It’s rare to find an athlete that can play, communicate, and give back all in one.” said Dr. Zillmer.
In the Q&A someone asked about Drexel’s high out of country recruiting. Coach Flint gave the typical coach’s answer in “In the end it’s about the players. If he’ll help you win you get him.” This is the answer you would expect from the coach, but the answer from Dr. Zillmer was one of a much more level explanation on the administrator side. “International students bring perspective. An athletic program needs to be diverse like the school is. Eleven precent is the number for international students (at Drexel).” Dr. Zillmer wants the athletic program to reflect the same values in international students as the university itself does.
Another quick question fielded by Flint and Zillmer was on Jason Collins coming out this year. Coach Flint said he was glad and it was about time. He also spoke about how he had a gay teammate in college and it didn’t effect how the team ran. Flint just wishes that Collins would play again to prove openly gay athletes can play within major league sports. Dr. Zillmer simply asked what in our society allowed this (openly gay athletes in sports) to be ok? He finished by saying that sports can be a catalyst to help propel gay acceptance in our country.
Jim Britt, COO and Vice President of Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation on: Youth Development in Sports
For those of you who do not know what the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is, it was founded in 2005 by Flyers owner Ed Snider to help provide physical education and child development in Philadelphia through the medium of ice hockey. Ed Snider Youth Hockey also tries to help remove the barrier of financial deficit to allow children to play ice hockey. Along with this Ed Snider Youth Hockey tires to teach life lessons while breaking away from the traditional classroom setting.
Jim Britt was asked during his Q&A session about how he and the program evaluates their children on their educational success and goals. Britt said the program uses Academic Assistants to help supervise the children doing their homework and assist them on trouble they kids have with their studies. Also the program as a system where the kids are rewarded for good grades on their report cards.
Another question asked was the daily issues Ed Snider Youth Hockey faces with the youth of Philadelphia. As you could expect the answer started off the way any question like that would when you are talking about an urban setting with underprivileged households. They have children from abusive households, malnourished children, drug use, displaced families, and so on. One answer that made the list that was interesting was that of questions of sexual orientations. The foundation now has multiple counselors on their staff to be able to effectively assist the children in their daily problems.