Nov. 21, 2013
By Marya Fratoni
UConn Women's' Lacrosse Team Member
The UConn women's lacrosse team performed one of their various community service events with the Goal Line program on Monday, November 18. The team visited a group of East Harford Middle School female students and had a great time playing games, talking and doing some spontaneous dancing and beat boxing.
Members of the UConn baseball team also visited this school on the same day and met with young male students. They spoke about good sportsmanship, specifically how to win and lose honorably. Each month UConn student-athletes visit East Hartford Middle School to meet with a select group of students and talk with them about various aspects of being a successful student-athlete. This provides the Goal Line participants with a chance to look ahead toward their college potential. The program is a joint partnership between UConn athletics and the SBM Charitable Foundation. The baseball team members have been active in this program for the last two years. In the spring, the Goal Line boys will have an opportunity to visit the UConn campus and see a baseball game.
The Goal Line program is made possible by the SBM Charitable Foundation partnership with UConn Athletics. The purpose of the program is to benefit at-risk youth by connecting them with student-athlete mentors.
The SBM Charitable Foundation was established in 2000 by Connecticut Bankshares, the parents company of the former Saving Bank of Manchester. The SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc., is committed to bettering lives of those who lives and work predominately in Hartford, Windham and Tolland counties.
The young students who visited with the women's lacrosse team were all smiles as they participated in fun, competitive activities as well as a sit down lunch where the student-athletes were able to connect with the girls and talk about how important it is to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. They decided to top the day off by taking numerous pictures, autograph signings, and a dance-off.
"Today was amazing," said senior women's lacrosse captain Lauren Kahn. "It was really nice being able to reach out to the community and represent UConn in a positive way."
Assistant coach Chelsea Gamble was equally pleased with the outcome of the event: "Today's community service event with the East Hartford Middle School girls was both heart-warming and inspiring. Seeing the countless smiles on the middle school girl's faces as they raced to the other side of the gym floor to tag a UConn player's hand was priceless. Both our UConn players and the middle schoolers made a lasting impression on one another. Being able to give back to our community today was extremely rewarding and I hope we were able to inspire those young girls!"
It was quite obvious that both the student-athletes and the girls at East Harford really enjoyed their time together. Junior Karaline Smith really showed her enthusiasm post-service: "I think both groups of girls were able to get a lot out of the visit. On the bus ride home, my teammates kept asking if there would be another opportunity to volunteer again. Overall it was an awesome day and a ton of fun! The team looks forward to getting the chance to give back to the community once again in their student-organized upcoming community service projects."