Oct. 25, 2004

McMaster hosts world's largest anti-bullying seminar, Canada's largest university basketball game

Hamilton, ON - McMaster University in partnership with the Hamilton Police Service hosted the world’s largest anti-bullying seminar today with more than 12,000 Grade 6, 7 and 8 students from Hamilton region participating.

The seminar included the educational theatre production, The Diary, which addresses the physical, emotional and relational effects of bullying and victimization that are relevant to adolescents.

“This event was a huge success in many ways last year, but we were particularly pleased with the fact that we empowered so many youth regarding how to effectively deal with bullying,” said Vaillancourt. “This event sends a clear message to our youth about how their community does not expect them to deal with bullying on their own. Rather, bullying is a community problem that is best dealt with using a community-wide approach that promotes awareness and understanding.

This event also highlights how the community and the University can join forces to make a positive change in the lives of children.”

The presentation was followed by a special McMaster University men’s basketball home game against Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Community ticket sales pushed the attendance for the game to 12,139, setting a new Canadian university basketball attendance record. It eclipsed the mark of 11,853 set at last year’s Bullying versus Basketball One on One. McMaster won today's game by a score of 73-57.

Marauder basketball coach Joe Raso was pleased with the outcome. “The event used sport, to deliver a powerful message to students. At the same time, this provided a memorable opportunity for our student-athletes to play in front of a record crowd. Everyone left the building a winner today”.

The event was supported by McMaster University, Mohawk College, Hamilton Police Service, the Hamilton Community Foundation, and Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Incorporated (HECFI).

McMaster President Peter George lauded the initiative as an excellent example of the McMaster and Hamilton communities working together towards a common goal.

"This event represents the best of University-community partnerships and reinforces our commitment at McMaster to create an inclusive community that celebrates diversity and encourages individuals to perform at their very best," President George said.