Amherst, N.Y. - Daemen College has been named among 19 schools and two conferences as finalists for the 2018 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence, an honor recognizing campus and community engagement efforts over the past year. Daemen's nomination for the award is centered around new programming called the Daemen College Center for Allied and Unified Sport and Exercise (CAUSE).
Launched this past fall, CAUSE is an initiative that provides recreational and competitive athletic opportunities for persons with disabilities, pairing participants with Daemen students, student-athletes, faculty and coaches in activities that promote sport, exercise and socialization. Developed through a collaborative effort by Daemen Athletics and the College's Social Work and Special Education departments, and aided by grant funding from several community organizations, CAUSE programming runs each Sunday afternoon and on two Thursday evenings per month. During CAUSE hours, primary caregivers are invited to enjoy time to themselves, socialize with other caregivers, or free use of Daemen's fitness center.
"Daemen Athletics is extremely proud of the impact CAUSE has already had on our community in the short amount of time since its launch," said Interim Athletics Director Brandi Guerinot. "CAUSE is a tremendous asset to Western New York, and being recognized by the NCAA only shows the respect that the program is gaining on a national level. We are excited to see CAUSE have a lasting impact, not only for the participants and their caregivers, but also for our student-athletes and others who are involved in running the program on a weekly basis."
Division II annually honors its members for leading events that exemplify any of the six Division II attributes: learning, balance, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, passion and service. A committee of athletics administrators determined this year's finalists, and the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will select the winner, which will be announced during the Division II business session at the 2018 NCAA Convention on Jan. 20 in Indianapolis.
Each finalist will receive $500. The winner will receive $1,500 and a nationally televised football or basketball game during the 2018-19 season. The first runner-up will receive $1,250, and the second runner-up will receive $1,000. All prize money is intended to be used for future community engagement activities.
Provided by the Daemen Sports Information Department.