Not only do SWAT members participate in events and activities throughout Sarasota County, but they also have the opportunity to attend regional and statewide events.
On April 14th 2012, two SWAT members from Sarasota Middle School attended SWAT Sandblast in Pinellas County. This is an event annually hosted by the Pinellas County SWAT, and this year all 15 counties in Region 3 had a chance to participate in the event. Sarasota County had a table featuring information about tobacco industry advertising and a game called “Myth or Reality”. The event also had music, water slides, beach volleyball, and other fun activities. SWAT reached hundreds of youth from the surrounding area who attended the event and also many other community members through local media coverage.
On July 24th-26th 2012, Tobacco Free Florida hosted a Statewide Meeting in Orlando, bringing SWAT youth and adult tobacco prevention professionals together from all across the state. The theme of this meeting was “Break Through”, and one SWAT youth from Heron Creek Middle School and one SWAT youth from Riverview High School represented Sarasota County at this event. They had the opportunity to meet other SWAT youth from around the state, learn more about SWAT and tobacco prevention efforts, build leadership skills, and participate in fun activities.
On March 2nd 2013, two SWAT members from Sarasota Middle School attended the Region 3 SWAT training in Orlando. This training focused on the issue of candy flavored tobacco products. Attendees learned M.A.D. Skills (Message, Audience, Delivery), and were able to apply these skills through a mock activity where they planned and created a booth for a community event. This training allowed SWAT youth from within the region to interact with one another and learn new skills that can be applied in their home counties.