One of our goals as interns for the EDD Memorial Fund and members of the Saint Michael’s College women’s soccer team is to connect the Saint Michael’s College community and the EDD athletes in as many ways as possible. We want our classmates and peers to see the impact they can make in the lives of the EDD athletes. In order to make this connection, we have been brainstorming different events we could hold on campus and various ways we could include the EDD athletes in our own athletic endeavors. After watching a professional soccer game on TV, we had an epiphany. Wouldn’t it be great to have the EDD athletes walk out with our starters, the same way professional soccer players walk out with young soccer players?
We sent out a message to all local EDD athletes inviting them to join the Saint Michael’s College women’s soccer team on Duffy Field for a home game on September 17th, 2016. Five of our EDD athletes joined the starting players as they walked out to the center of the field and greeted the crowd before standing with the women’s team as the national anthem played. The EDD athletes were cheering “Go Saint Mike’s!” for the duration of the walkout and our players were ecstatic to be with our EDD buddies again. The EDD player’s excitement for us and their continuous, energetic chants helped calm our nerves and prepare us to play our match. Our EDD athletes then joined the women’s team in their pregame huddle to hear the pump up speech and cheer along with the team as the starters ran out onto the field to take on their opponent. It was incredible to be able to share the exciting experience of walking out with our EDD athletes and allow them to truly be a part of our team. We had many peers come up to us after the game telling us how great they thought this event was and we were thrilled to hear that the crowd enjoyed it just as much as we did.
This was the first time we have had athletes walk out with our soccer team and are hoping to get even more EDD athletes to come out to our next walk out with the men’s soccer team on October 1st! Ideally, we would like to get all the sports teams on campus involved so the EDD athletes have the opportunity to meet all the Saint Michael’s College athletes and be a part of different sporting events.
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