Coaching Boys into Men training in Juneau

Supporters of the Coaching Boys into Men project carry a sign down Main Street in Juneau during rally on March 27, 2014. The campaign aims to reduce domestic violence in Alaska. The state leads the nation in domestic violence rates. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Supporters of the Coaching Boys into Men project carry a sign down Main Street in Juneau during rally on March 27, 2014. The campaign aims to reduce domestic violence in Alaska. The state leads the nation in domestic violence rates. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Forty athletic coaches from across Alaska are gathering at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center today to receive training on Coaching Boys into Men, a domestic violence and sexual assault prevention initiative.

The all-day session shows coaches how to help young male athletes promote respect and gender equality.

The training will feature a panel of students and coaches currently involved in the program, including John Blasco. Blasco is head coach of boys basketball at Thunder Mountain High School. With the help of AWARE, he started implementing Coaching Boys into Men in 2010.

In a previous interview, Blasco said the program opens dialogue on issues that may not always be talked about.

“From respect, to the language that we use with one another, to how we communicate via text and Twitter, and then, more seriously, the sexual relationships with whomever we’re with at the time,” Blasco said.

Coaching Boys into Men became part of Gov. Sean Parnell’s Choose Respect campaign in 2012. More than 150 coaches throughout the state have already received training.