Student athletes at FSU hosted an equipment drive in the Athletic Center to help children and teens in need of athletic equipment Dec. 7.
The goal of the event was to give young athletes the opportunity to try sports they might not be able to participate in.
Seniors Greg Harney, Zak Duval, Kirsten Dick, Kyla Johnson, and Jack O’Donovan organized the event as part of a project for their Sports Marketing class with professor Michael Harrison.
The group of students was able to generate interest for the event in a very short period of time. They were able to collect over 250 individual articles of new or lightly used equipment during the two-hour event.
The group partnered with MetroWest YMCA, which received the donated equipment Dec. 17.
Harney, a member of the men’s hockey team, said, “I was really pleased with the turnout. I think as an athlete, I am very thankful for the amount of support I had from my family.
“Unfortunately, a lot of young athletes don’t have the same level of support. Being able to organize this to provide for others is very gratifying,” he said.
Harney added, “One thing that helped us generate so much interest is the large number of student athletes on campus. It makes getting the word out much easier. I think most athletes naturally have the instinct to help each other out.”
Dick, a member of the softball team said, “The turnout was a lot more than we expected it to be, which was exciting for us. We posted flyers around campus and talked to the women’s basketball team to help get the word around campus.
“We were able to raise over 250 items like hockey sticks, baseball gloves/bats, brand new basketballs and footballs which was awesome,” she said.
She added, “The generosity from the community was amazing for us. We dropped the equipment off yesterday at the local YMCA and they were so excited to be getting all the equipment for their future athletes.”
“The plan as of right now is that the YMCA will send us an email soon once the kids begin using everything that was donated,” she said.
Duval, a member of the baseball team said, “We wanted to invite as many students and faculty as we could to donate their new and gently
used equipment to a greater cause.
“The kids and teens at MetroWest will be able to use the equipment which will hopefully encourage young athletes to try new sports that they are either unfamiliar with or don’t have the opportunity to try on their own,” he said.
Junior Brandon Hamner donated equipment and was happy to see students hosting the drive.
He said, “I did a lot of youth events at a local YMCA when I was a kid so it’s nice to be able to give back anyway that I can so others have the same privileges that I did.”
[Editor’s note: Soren Colstrup is a member of the Varsity Ice Hockey team.]