Back in 2010, due to severe budget constraints, the Mattahunt Community Center was forced to close. Thanks to an incredible collaborative effort featuring Mayor Menino, community volunteers, and Wheelock College the center reopened in 2011.
Under the guidance of the Mattahunt Wheelock Community Advisory Board, Mattahunt opened its doors again in 2011 with refurbished facilities. The upgrades, which included a pool, athletic fields, basketball courts, and a computer center, were completed largely by volunteers. Those volunteers were made up of Wheelock students, staff, and faculty, members of the Boston Celtics, state and city officials, and local residents. The combined efforts of Mayor Menino, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, the Boston Public Schools, Mattapan residents, and Wheelock helped revitalize the Center.
Programming at the center is run by primarily Wheelock faculty led by Rashad Cope who is director of the community center. This summer, Cope and the Wheelock athletics department worked together to supplement activities that already included swimming lessons, an outdoors program, an ongoing youth advocacy seminar, yoga classes, nutrition education, free reading and math tutoring among other programs.
Wheelock athletics is in the midst of a six week sports program that started on July 8th and will conclude on August 12th. With help from fall, winter, and spring coaches the department provided two weeks of soccer, two weeks of lacrosse, and will conclude their session with two weeks of basketball.
In an effort spearheaded by Director of Athletics Dwight Datcher and Associate Director of Athletics Amanda Cuiffo, the six weeks of programming have enlisted head women’s soccer coach and Associate Director of Athletics Stephanie Smyrl, head men’s soccer coach Adam Schlitt, head men’s and women’s lacrosse coaches Eric Small and Meghan Griffin as well as head men’s and women’s basketball coaches Mike Pollio and Missy Traversi among a host of other personnel.
The entire department is grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a rewarding partnership between Wheelock and Mattahunt. Athletics looks forward to continuing and bettering that relationship.