The Alaska School Activities Association, which regulates high school sports and activities around the state, says a coach's influence is huge. That’s why ASAA requires all coaches to take a mandatory coaching certification course before they are allowed to coach and teach kids.
“That course includes all sorts of questions specific to Alaska, but that also includes the boundaries and all those fundamental things that you want coaches to be safe with kids and kids to be safe,” said Isaiah Vreeman, who is the state championship director for ASAA.
Other organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Alaska say they require background checks on all volunteers, and if there is an incident reported it’s investigated immediately.
“We hope that our families know that they can go to their coaches for things like that, or if it’s something that they feel about a coach, they can go to our athletic staff,” said Jennifer Brown, the director of marketing and public relations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Alaska.
Gov. Sean Parnell's Choose Respect campaign is also working to improve coaches’ role modeling abilities through a workshop called Coaching Boys Into Men. More information is available on the workshop’s website.
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