The Keene State Owls are no strangers to collaborating with the community. The athletic department demonstrates how they work with the community year-round. From working with children to volunteering at the special Olympics, community service shows to be an important aspect in team bonding at KSC.
The men’s soccer team volunteered by cleaning a local farm.
KSC junior Tom Bartley said he believes helping out in the community shows that his team cares. “We form a friendship and bond with the people of the community and, in turn, we have that feeling of fellowship by sharing common attitudes,” Bartley said. “If we are involved with the community then the community will be involved back with us, creating a good relationship with the team,” he added.
Last Saturday, the Keene State swim team volunteered at Franklin Elementary School for a field day.
KSC senior and swimmer Graham Lott said the experience was good for the team to bond and become closer. “Everyone seemed happy to be there to help out,” Graham said. “ It shows the community that we are involved and care, but it also feels good to get out there and better the children’s lives.” Lott said whether it be workers, students, kids or residents, we all belong to the Keene community and we all can come together to help better it.
Every year, the women’s soccer team does clinics with the youth programs in the area. In the past, they have participated in a breast cancer awareness walk, raising over $2,000.
The head coach of the women’s soccer team Denise Lyons says her team works with the community a lot, as it is a very important aspect of learning by giving back.
“I think it’s good for the team to give back to the community and involve them as a life learning lesson to give back, as well as an importance for the college experience,” Lyons said.
Working with the community helps her team make good connections to work with different groups within the community.
“Right now, my team is doing a pen pal program with Bellows Falls School where the players e-mail back and forth with the students of that school,” Lyons said.
Some of her players even watch the kids play sports and the students come to their games. “It is fun and allows them to be role models,” Lyons added.
KSC senior and field hockey player Sami Smith said her team hosts coaching sessions with Trilogy Field Hockey Camp.
“Every year, we coach them and sometimes we go to the high school or middle school practices to help them out,” Smith said.
Smith added her team also does clinics with more than one hundred girls from kindergarten to high school.
“Programs like these shows us to be good role models for young girls and hopefully it gives them people to look up to,” Smith said.
The men’s basketball coach Ryan Cain said his team is going to participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters to kick off the start to their season.
Cain said a school-based mentoring system with the team can work really well for the players, but more importantly with the elementary school students.
Alex can be contacted at Aenyat@kscequinox.com