On Wednesday the 6th, just before the opening tip-off of the men’s basketball game, the members of Alma’s student athlete advisory committee received the Teamworks award.
This award comes from a partnership between Helper Helper and the NCAA, and is quite the honor to receive.
“The Teamworks challenge is a group effort in which the NCAA and division one, two and three schools from across the nation participate,” said Chelsea Fritz, the NCAA representative from Helper Helper who presented the award.
“The way you win is by having the most community service hours as well as student athlete participation,” said Fritz.
However, this award is not new to Alma.
“Receiving this award for the second year in a row, in only it’s second year in existence at the NCAA Division III level, is a true testament to the Alma College student athletes and their commitment to service,” said Sarah Dehring, assistant athletic director.
“SAAC has really stressed the focus of service throughout the Alma College Athletic Department,” said Dehring.
“We used to have a few teams that would highlight service events throughout the year, but it has now turned into a departmental wide initiative,” said Dehring.
Giving back to the community is something that is not taken lightly around the athletic department.
“Part of the mission statement for Alma College is to ‘serve generously’ and as a part of SAAC and athletics, we take that very seriously,” said Jared Fleming (‘19), SAAC community outreach coordinator.
“This led us to finding as many opportunities to serve and get hours helping other people as possible,” said Fleming.
For athletic teams, there are endless opportunities for service.
“We have opportunities always lined up on the Helper Helper app and partnerships with the Masonic home, Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Campus Life, alternative breaks and more in the local community and across the country,” said Fleming.
The most notable team on campus with regards to community service hours is the women’s lacrosse team. This team consistently has the most hours out of any team, which is a testament to their leadership.
“Our team is constantly searching for the next volunteer opportunity,” said Allie Ray (‘20), captain of the women’s lacrosse team.
“We consider helping others as a way to not only help the community, but bond as a team,” said Ray.
“This year our goal is to beat the hours we accumulated last year,” said Ray, who also said that the team plans on getting extra service hours in during spring break.
Aside from wins and losses on the playing field, there is no doubt that student athletes love to give back.
“It is a sense of pride in these student athletes and it will continue to be a major focus as we partner with more organizations throughout the community, country and world,” said Dehring.
“We want to represent Alma in a positive way,” said Fleming.