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nmlavoi-2013.jpgOn April 25, Play Like a Champion Today, the world's only university-based initiative focused on promoting a positive sports culture for all young people, is hosting a symposium entitled "Coaching Ethics: Creating a Value Centered Athletic Community in Higher Education." Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, is a featured speaker at the symposium in a group of experts from sports ethics, higher education, professional ethics, as well as coaches, administrators and faculty. Topics include the coaching culture of collegiate athletics, the ethical principles that should inform coaching practice, and a plan to create values-centered athletic communities through sport.

LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpg Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, is attending the Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety (PASS) National Conference on Youth Sports Safety in Washington, DC [watch live]. The focus of the conference is on concussion and youth sport culture. PASS was launched by the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine and the Department of Global Health at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services to address and combat the incidence of catastrophic brain injuries among youth who participate in organized sports.


LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpgJoining five other experts, Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, speaks out in a New York Times "Room for Debate" piece, "Can Playing Ball Be Bad for Children?" LaVoi addresses opportunities for girls in athletics in the context of some parents' "winning at all costs" attitude.

LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpg Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, explains what sport can afford youth in "Be a Winning Parent: 3 Tips for Parents of Young Athletes," a piece that appeared on Riedell skates' blog. LaVoi states that youth sports should be a place where young people have fun, socialize, develop, and strive for success. Further, she notes that adults have a large role and need to be conscious of their actions.

LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpgThis fall, Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, will appear in a television show produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News, a syndicated television news-gathering organization. The segment is based on the 2007 Tucker Center Research Report, "Developing Physically Active Girls: An Evidence-based Multidisciplinary Approach," and appears as part of Ivanhoe's "Smart Woman" syndicated series. Ivanhoe provides TV stations with news segments offering viewers health solutions with the latest breakthroughs in science and medicine, tips on staying healthy, and advice from women for women. Ivanhoe reaches 11 of the top 20 television markets including Rochester, La Crosse, and Eau Claire (though not the Twin Cities) reaching an audience of 80 million households.

LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpg Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, is part of two research-based symposia at the annual American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Conference in Charlotte, NC:


  • "Conducting Research on Female Athletes: Strategies for Success," is a session organized by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS). The purpose of this session is to provide a multi-disciplinary overview of research related to female athletes and share strategies for conducting research with female athletes.

  • LaVoi and Tucker Center Affiliated Scholar Dr. Cindra S. Kamphoff, Minnesota State University-Mankato, will present their national database findings, "Females in Positions of Power Within U.S. High School Sports." This session is part of the Research Consortium Grant Findings.

Chelsey ThulDr. Chelsey Thul, recent graduate and Tucker Center Affiliated Scholar, will give a Postdoctoral Research Award presentation, "Disparities in physical activity among Minnesota adolescents of Somali, and other Non-Hispanic African American and White race," at the University of Minnesota's 7th Annual Pediatric Research, Education and Scholarship Symposium to be held Friday, April 19, 2013 from 11:45 - 5:00 PM in the Coffman Union Campus Club.

LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpg Dr. Nicole LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, weighs in on why there has been an increase in females that participate in sport but a decrease in females coaching.

In the article titled, "As more girls play sports, fewer women have coaching jobs," LaVoi notes, "When jobs become more desirable and they become better-paid, the men will start infiltrating those jobs and that's exactly what we've seen with coaches of specifically girls basketball." LaVoi continues to explain that in order to change stereotypes there needs to be more women in powerful positions such as head coaching.

LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpg Dr. Nicole LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, comments on the controversies surrounding Brittney Griner in the article, "What Brittney Griner says about us."

"We disparage female athletes so we don't have to make room for them," notes LaVoi. "People can't just say, 'Wow, Brittney Griner is a great athlete.' We need to have a caveat: 'She plays like a guy, she looks like a guy, she must be a guy.' These qualifiers marginalize what Brittney has done and serve to keep the current pecking order in place, whereby men's sports are more valued, more culturally relevant -- the norm."

Griner, center for Baylor University's women's basketball team, has won numerous awards throughout her basketball career and continues to break collegiate records. For more on Griner and her statistics read here.

LaVoi-Nicole-2010.jpg Dr. Nicole LaVoi, teaching faculty in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Tucker Center, explains the misconceptions of Title IX and the stereotypes surrounding gender capabilities in sport.

In the article, "Invading the boys club," a young girl describes her experience playing on a boy's water polo team in high school. Many coaches, parents, and players are upset and worried about this decision. LaVoi argues that, "If coaches have reservations strictly based on a female player's safety when they could easily have the same misgivings about a smaller or less-talented male player, they are guilty of feeding gender-based stereotypes that continue to permeate society."

LaVoi also notes that Title IX strives for equality for both male and female opportunities, but because females have been extremely under-represented, protection of their opportunities is greater.

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