Student-Athletes Participate in 23rd Annual APPLE Conference

The "UMO" APPLE team poses for a quick picture.
The "UMO" APPLE team poses for a quick picture.

The University of Mount Olive sent four student-athletes Michael Munoz (Men's Cross Country/Track), Sarah Robertson (Women's Volleyball), Nicholas Bernsdorf (Men's Soccer), and Caitlin Gore (Women's Lacrosse) along with Assistant Athletics Director/Compliance Coordinator LaToya Lindsey and Head Athletic Trainer Kristen Gibson to the 23rd Annual APPLE Conference in Charlottesville, Va.

The APPLE conference was developed and coordinated by the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the University of Virginia. They are the leading national training symposiums dedicated to substance abuse prevention and health promotion for student-athletes and athletics department administrators. The goal of the APPLE conference is to assist colleges in promoting student-athlete health and wellness by empowering teams of student-athletes and administrators to create an institution-specific action plan. The model consists of 3 parts:

•Identification of your school's current programs and policies

•Design of an individualized action plan

•Assistance with implementation of your action plan

Over the three days of the conference the team went through four different breakout sessions involving different key topics in substance abuse prevention. The teams also heard from three keynote speakers.

"This was the best part by far. The speaker's stories were very inspiring and they were heroes you could look up to after hearing what they had to say" said Munoz.

The team had to then pick a "slice" of the APPLE to implement here at Mount Olive. The APPLE consists of seven slices: Recruitment, Drug Testing, Expectations & Attitudes, Sanctioning, Policies, Referral & Counseling, and Education.

The slice the UMO APPLE team decided to focus on for their action plan is the Education slice. The group wants to focus specifically on alcohol education by doing an educational booth for both the community and students this semester and also bring in a speaker on alcohol awareness in the fall.

"The APPLE Conference is a needed experience for student-athletes. It was well structured and balanced so we stayed entertained and engaged" stated Munoz.

The UMO APPLE team was thoroughly impacted by the speakers and are ready to share the education they received through their action plan to the University of Mount Olive.