Indiana University professors Debby Herbenick and Dr. Antonio Williams were proud to host the inaugural Sport and Social Change Summit in Bloomington, IN. The summit, a part of the Sport and Social Change Initiative, was held Thursday and Friday May 21-22 and began with a private, invitation-only dinner. Culminating in a meeting consisting of a panel of former players, practitioners, and stakeholders from various sport organizations including the NCAA, NFL, NFLPA, NBA, You Can Play, Little 500, and Distinxion, the summit included presentations, roundtable discussions, and brainstorming sessions.
“Sport and Social Change Initiative was created in response to our work examining the challenges athletes face in regard to physical, emotional, social, psychological, and relational health,” Dr. Williams stated. “The goal of the summit was to share best practices, and set a long-term research agenda.”
Dr. Michael Reece, Director of Research for the School of Public Health - Bloomington provided the welcome address for the dinner. “Our overarching vision is to help athletes combat the challenges that may stem from heightened fame, notoriety, time commitment, expectations, pressures, and physical stressors associated with participation in youth, collegiate and professional athletics.” Reece said of the summit.
Debby Herbenick is hopeful for the future of the Sport and Social Change Initiative saying, “Overall, we believe that the summit was a major success.” She also thanked Dr. Reece as well as Dr. Mohammad Torabi, Dean of the School of Public Health – Bloomington “for their vision in creating the ingenuity grant that made this possible.” More summits of the like are expected in the future.