On November 19, Berwick Academy (South Berwick, ME) hosted the first ever Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT) Summit on campus. This event was the culmination of a year's worth of on-campus work, following a challenge from Berwick’s Athletic Director Rob Quinn and Head of School Jim Hamilton, to create an honor statement for our athletic program that is not only recited, but lived. This statement captures the school’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and fairness in athletics. As a school, Berwick has been training and educating our players, coaches, and fans about what this environment should look like and how to positively maintain it together.
In welcoming our fellow Eastern Independent League, Berwick aimed to celebrate the strength of our collective schools while creating a shared dialogue around preserving and promoting the highest standards for our athletic programs. Schools from the greater Boston area, and even as far away as Portsmouth, Rhode Island were in attendance (rumor has it the Ravens got into their school van at 5:30 a.m. to make the trek to Maine). Berwick’s Student Leadership Coordinator Molly Gabarro and her team of SALT leaders – Spencer ‘21, Annabelle ‘20, Zach ‘20, Paddy ‘21, Brit ‘20, Sydney ‘20, Tiffany ‘20, Henry ‘20, Abby ‘20, Lilly ‘20, and Gianni ‘20 – planned, executed, and hosted a tremendous event focusing on sportsmanship, inclusion, and collegiality amongst our student-athletes and rivals from across the EIL. Faculty members and coaches Patrick Connolly, Meg Martinson, Haley Preston, Bobby Callahan, Travis Derr, and Lem Randall were also instrumental in the summit.
From Amherst College, Assistant Athletic Director/Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Billy McBride, delivered the keynote speech and then the Berwick SALT members led breakout discussions. The summit concluded with lunch and it was impressive to see teenagers – who have competed hard against each other, often in intense League contests – work with each other rather than compete against each other, and shake hands after getting to know each other in a very different setting than a cold rink or slippery field. We, as both a school and league, are committed to the continued dialogue and collective work needed to continue a healthy culture of competition and respect on and off our athletic fields, courts, pools, and rinks.
Article and photo courtesy of Berwick Academy