MIAA and NESN Partner to Promote High School Athletics and Education

Franklin, Mass. — The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the New England Sports Network (NESN) have partnered for a series of initiatives that will go beyond the box scores to highlight educational athletics, student-athletes and coaches throughout the 2011-12 academic year. 

Through this partnership, MIAA and NESN hope to promote interscholastic athletic competition as an extension of the classroom and an educational activity that provides outstanding opportunities to teach life lessons. To achieve this goal, the organizations will present two sets of awards to high school student-athletes and coaches respectively. Recipients of each MIAA/NESN Student-Athlete of the Month and Coach of the Year Awards will be featured on MIAA.net, NESN.com and NESN. In addition, these recipients will be honored at a special banquet co-sponsored by MIAA and NESN that will take place at a date to be determined in spring 2012.

MIAA/NESN Student-Athlete of the Month Award
This award will be presented on a monthly basis to one male and one female student-athlete who display excellence in the areas of academics, athletics and community service. Selection criteria will include interscholastic athletic accomplishments, acts of sportsmanship, demonstration of leadership in the school and community, and a commitment to academics and achievements. Students in grades 9-12 who attend MIAA member schools are eligible for nomination. Nominations may be submitted by principals, athletic directors, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors or other school administrators and must be received by the last day of each month in order to qualify for that month’s award. Award recipients will be selected from September 2011 through April 2012. To nominate a student for this award, go to nesn.com/highschool or visit miaa.net.

MIAA/NESN Coach of the Year Award
This award will be presented annually to one coach in each MIAA-sponsored sport. The award seeks to recognize and honor "teacher-coaches" who have had an impact on the lives of student-athletes under their charge by encouraging them to succeed and helping them develop self-confidence, ambition, a sound work ethic and other skills or values necessary or helpful for success in their later lives. Award candidates should have a record of encouraging student-athletes to be well-rounded (i.e. displaying excellence in areas of scholarship, citizenship, fine arts, etc.), as well as a reputation, among their peers and the athletic community, for fair play, good sportsmanship and the development of these attributes in their student-athletes. Active varsity coaches for at least five years in a sanctioned sport at MIAA member schools are eligible for nomination. The nomination deadline is Friday, March 23, 2012. To nominate a coach for this award, go tonesn.com/highschool or visit miaa.net.

MIAA deputy director Bill Gaine stated, "We are pleased to team with NESN to promote what educational athletics is all about. Interscholastic athletic competition is an extension of the classroom and an educational activity that provides outstanding opportunities to teach life lessons. Through participation in interscholastic athletic programs, young people learn values that prepare them for future success. This partnership will recognize some of the outstanding student-athletes and coaches at MIAA member schools who demonstrate the importance of working hard in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community."

NESN president and CEO Sean McGrail added, "Highlighting the best of what interscholastic athletics is all about is something that all of us here at NESN feel strongly about. We hope that by partnering with MIAA to honor these exceptional student-athletes and coaches, we will help to motivate others to strive for success in athletics and academics, and develop leadership skills that will benefit both their school and their community."

Nominations are currently being accepted for both awards. For additional information, please contact the MIAA Student Services Department at 508-541-7997.

About MIAA
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association is a private, non-profit association organized by its member schools to govern, coordinate and promote education based programs for high school students. The MIAA is self-regulating with the 377 member schools providing individual leaders to serve within the 35 MIAA governance units.  The latest annual participation survey demonstrates that 212,826 team positions were filled by student-athletes in 33 sports. The mission of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association is to serve member schools and the maximum number of their students by providing leadership and support for the conduct of interscholastic activities which will enrich the educational experiences of all participants. The MIAA will promote interschool activities that provide lifelong and life-quality learning experiences to students while enhancing their achievement of educational goals.  For more information, please go to miaa.net.

About NESN
NESN has consistently been one of the top-rated regional sports networks in the country with award-winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage. The network is delivered to more than 4 million homes throughout the six-state New England region and an additional 3.7 million homes nationally as NESN National. NESN.com, the network's online sports news service, is one of the most-visited regional sports network websites in the country. NESN also produces a number of distinctive programs under its umbrella Original NESN Entertainment (ONE). NESN is owned by Fenway Sports Group (owners of the Boston Red Sox) and the Boston Bruins.

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