POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 29 “My approach with youth is I always say to them: ‘I go home and I’m just like you,’” she said. “It’s about educating them on that because a lot of it is them just seeing me in this intimidating way – the police car, the lights – but it’s more than that, and you want kids to see that. “There is the education around it and coaching, because that is what I already have going on, really helps.” She talked about empowering youth as both a police officer and coach. “I hope that by being an active member in my community, whether through work or volunteer, I give youth of our community the strength and confidence to follow their dreams, whatever those may be,” she said. HOOPS STARTS Titus-Walsh was selected to oversee a special sports program this summer which involved engaging with girls who were not participating in sports. A partnership between Sport Nova Scotia’s RESPORT program, the Colchester Basketball Association, and the Town of Truro, the program was geared towards U-12 girls, an age group the association saw a big gap in as far as participation. “Coming into it, I felt a little bit of pressure because I might know basketball, but I don’t know everything. And most of my experience coaching was competitive players, I hadn’t coached anyone who didn’t know the game or hadn’t played. This was going to be different,” she said. Still, association president Paul MacIsaac described TitusWalsh as the “perfect fit” while also praising the three university-aged young women who assisted her – Hannah Roberts, Maddie Greatorex and Chelsea MacIsaac. “We knew the right person could make the experience not only rewarding but long-lasting,”he said. “It had to be about more than just basketball.” And it was. Titus-Walsh said they would do an activity like the question of the day which could be“what’s your hobby?’ or ‘what do you like to do for fun?’ She said it was about building an atmosphere where the girls felt safe and wanted to stay. “By the end of the program, we did play basketball, did a lot of that, but we also did a lot of building relationships with them,” she said. “Really came to know them and, at the end, one of the girls was asking ‘how do I get involved in basketball?’” She said her job as a police officer didn’t come up but her role as a new mom did as she brought baby Jay to the gym with her. “When I grew up, you never saw that,” Titus-Walsh said. “I think the WNBA has changed that dramatically. You’ll see players and coaches bringing their kids, owning the fact they’re mothers. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to share that.” So after going in with a little apprehension, Titus-Walsh decribed her Hoops Stars experience as “refreshing.” “I was on cloud nine at the end of it because they were asking: ‘Can we have this group forever?’ “I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the launch of the Hoops Strong program. It was truly an honour to be part of it,” she said. SaltWire E-Edition ( Truro Police Service PANS in the community continued continued Photo credit: Facebook/Truro Police Service