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NU professor awarded grant to continue work with youth sport organizations


NIAGARA UNIVERSITY  — Dr. Darren C. Treadway, associate professor in Niagara University’s College of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management, received a three-year, $205,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to extend the strategic development work he has done over the past three years with youth sport organizations and to create a pilot program to evaluate best practices for the expansion of the program’s content.

Under Treadway’s previous grant, 30 youth sport organizations completed a four-module training program that builds organizational capacity and operations, 10 consulting projects with additional YSOs were completed, and dozens of informational consulting sessions were conducted. This training focuses on strategy development, marketing strategy, leadership, and financial controls. In all, the YSOs served by this initial grant service more than 20,000 families in Western New York.

The new grant will provide these opportunities for an additional 36 YSOs in Niagara, Erie, Orleans, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. In addition, this new grant will pilot a program to test the equivalency of two alternative training modes. The results of this pilot will guide the development of the structure and guidelines for future consulting pods, which will expand the geographic areas in which the training can be offered, thus reaching additional YSOs.

Treadway’s work will coordinate with the university’s Project Play Western New York Cornerstone Program, a coaches training program that uses in-person, online, and mobile Social Emotional Learning platforms to engage and educate coaches and youth sport leaders on the importance of emphasizing youth development alongside the athletic development of children.

“We are grateful to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and Project Play Western New York for their continued support of our work,” said Treadway. “In just three years, the YSO–Strategic Assistance Program has trained and consulted with youth sport organizations in all eight Western New York counties. This work has led to more viable community organizations and positively impacted the lives of over 20,000 families. This new grant will allow us to more deeply integrate the foundations of this program in Western New York and help us to expand our reach to help youth sports across the country.”


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