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Developing The Youth Athlete - A Team Approach

Forum & Breakout Sessions

Monday, May 20, 2024
Chartway Arena, Norfolk, VA

(NORFOLK, VA) – “I hope it’s normalized for someone to come up and ask, ‘How are you really?’ and not just ‘How’s the knee?'” – Avery Spell, Kellam High School student-athlete.

Monday, May 20 the Youth Sports Mental Health & Wellness Alliance (formed by the Hall and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters) hosted its first Alliance branded event on mental health in sports, “Developing the Youth Athlete – A Team Approach”. It was great to see so many stakeholders from youth and collegiate athletics come together in support of this topic.

The event featured a panel discussion moderated by HOF Executive Director Will Driscoll, and two breakout session/workshops. The panel featured perspectives from multiple stakeholders in youth and collegiate athletics. Thank you to all of our featured panelists, and breakout session leaders.

If you would like to get involved with the Alliance (FREE to join), or learn more, please visit the Alliance’s brand new website:


– Demetrius “Pete” Allen from Norfolk Parks & Rec
– Michele Hedspeth, a parent of a Virginia Wesleyan University student-athlete
– Avery Spell, a student-athlete at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach City Public Schools
– Michael G. Kennedy, Jr., a football officials for the United Football League (UFL), American Athletic Conference, Southeastern Football Officials Assn.
– Sonja Lund, PhD, Associate AD for Student-Athlete Mental Health & Well-being at Old Dominion University

Breakout Sessions

– Becky Snow from the Positive Coaching Alliance
– Ryley van der Velde, Virginia Wesleyan University head field hockey coach
– Tage Waite, Mental Performance Coach
– Dr. Joel Brenner, Director of Sports Medicine, CHKD
– Jessica Branham, License Clinical Social Worker


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