|  October 25, 2014  |  
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Nanooks, Access Alaska Team Up

Fairbanks, Alaska—A new partnership between Access Alaska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks aims to open doors at Alaska Nanooks sporting events to fans who might not otherwise attend the games and matches.

"We are excited to welcome our guests from Access Alaska this season at various Nanook home events,” said UAF intercollegiate athletics director Gary Gray. “We hope they enjoy their fan experience in each game environment and choose to become regular Nanooks fans."

Access Alaska is a private, nonprofit, consumer-controlled organization whose mission is to encourage, promote, mentor, and advocate for the total integration of older Alaskans and those who experience a disability to live independently and productively in their community.

Under the agreement, the Alaska Nanooks will choose a variety of matches and games each year and will draw on student-athletes to serve as hosts at each one. Access Alaska will send its clients invitations to the sporting events and provide transportation for those who need it. Once at the event, admission is free. The student hosts will greet guests and ensure they have what they need to enjoy the match or game.

“We are excited about the potential and opportunities provided by this program,” said Access Alaska development and advocacy director Doug Toelle. “It meets our mission by encouraging community participation and inclusion and, we hope, will help student-athletes become more connected to the community and break down stigma towards those who experience disabilities.”

Kai Brojakowski, a fiscal officer at UAF, helped initiate the partnership.

“I’ve been a Nanooks fan for as long as I can remember, and I also admire the services that Access Alaska provides to our community,” she said. “The energy and excitement found at the Alaska Nanooks’ sporting events is something I hope everyone can experience.”

The Nanooks have selected six events for the partnership this year: hockey, swimming, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and rifle. The first event is the Nanooks’ hockey game on Oct. 20. Rifle team members will serve as hosts during the game.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Doug Toelle, Access Alaska development and advocacy director, at 907-479-7940 or dtoelle@accessalaska.org. Gary Gray, UAF intercollegiate athletics director, at 907-474-6812 or grgray@alaska.edu.

ON THE WEB: www.alaskananooks.com

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