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Wittens to speak to youth coaches and mentors

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
On February 20, 2021, from 9 am-1 pm, speakers from Carter County and across
the nation will combine forces to provide support and education for coaches of all
sports, teachers, mentors, and people who interact with youth in any way.

Carter County Drug Prevention, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, and Witten Huddle
are working in partnership to provide this event.

Kicking off the day will be two-time Class 4A State Title- winning coaches, Shawn and
Ryan Witten.

“The best coaches are always willing to learn and grow and we are excited to be able to
partner with Carter County Drug Prevention and Elizabethton Parks and Recreation to
offer this amazing opportunity to the people who work to make stronger, healthier kids,”
said Ryan Witten.

Following the Witten brothers, the National Recreation & Parks Association MENTOR
will offer “Coaching with a Mentoring Mindset.”

MENTOR’s presenter Dudney Sylla serves as Program Director overseeing and supporting
special projects including MENTOR’s work on informal mentoring, education, and guide on
the intersections of mentoring and masculinity.

Previously Dudney worked as a Design Consultant for the Office of Human Capital – Diversity
Programs at Boston Public Schools and as a Program Manager at Jobs for the Future.

Dudney holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Master’s in Education from the University of
Washington.

MENTOR’s mission is to fuel the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for America’s
young people and to close the mentoring gap for the one in three young people growing up
without this critical support.

National Recreation and Parks Association’s Tiff Cunin is the Senior Program Manager
for Health at NRPA and is excited to present to this audience.

They are a social justice practitioner with more than 10 years of experience in physical activity
and public health.

The last session of the day will be hosted by Carter County Drug Prevention Director Jilian
Reece, along with PEAK Mentor Program Coordinator, Shannon Payne, and Fellowship of
Christian Athletes Director/Chaplain Steve McAuley.

Coaches will learn about local and national resources and curricula available to them.

“We know that coaches, mentors, and teachers have a tremendous impact on the youth
they serve and we are hosting this event to give them even more tools to succeed,” said
Reece.

Due to current COVID recommendations, two options for participation will be offered.

Participants may choose to attend live from the turf at Witten Huddle or join a Livestream
from the comfort of their own home.

Masks and social distancing are requested and lunch will be provided for all in-person
participants.

The first 50 participants to register for either learning format will receive a $20 gift
card, printed curriculums, and materials to use with the youth they serve.

“This event will have something for everyone. Whether they are a teacher, youth leader,
mentor, a first-year coach or have been coaching for many years, they will take
something away to help their team both on and off the field” Witten added.

To register, visit https://powerofsport.eventbrite.com.

For questions concerning the event, please visit or contact Reece at director@cartercountydrugprevention.org.