At three o’clock in the morning on Sept. 23, some of Keene State’s athletes were up for a twelve hour day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Most college kids are just going to bed at this time on the weekend, but the women’s swim and dive and both KSC basketball teams were on the road to start their annual fundraiser.
Each year, there are two opportunities for these teams to fundraise for training trips they take throughout the year. The races give each team three days to go to the track and work as an entrance screener, hospitality worker, usher or various other positions to help the New Hampshire Motor Speedway crew.
This speedway has been around since 1990 and the events that occur there are historic in the NASCAR world. Junior Captain for the KSC swim and dive team Rachel MacKinnon said, “You definitely meet some characters there and see some things you wouldn’t expect.”
Junior point guard Sandi Purcell said, “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, it’s very important.” One trip is in the summer while the other takes place in the fall, so this gives everyone about six full days to raise money if they choose to.
The teams put in a great amount of effort this event. In reward it benefits the individuals who put in the work. Each athlete that went will get a piece of the reward. So instead of the whole team getting expenses off, each teammate that comes to the fundraiser gets money taken off their personal trip expenses. Although this individually helps the expenses, Purcell said she takes it as a “team building experience. We all get to know each other and have a lot of fun.”
The swim and dive team has a training trip in December that costs them a decent amount of money to attend. MacKinnon said, “Going to Florida, we’re flying. We’re there for a week so we have all those expenses and every little bit helps us.” Expenses for these trips can reach anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 for KSC athletes, depending on where and how many times they travel.
Taking time out of these athlete’s weekends is a big sacrifice in order to help them enjoy the experience they have on these trips. Expenses in a college atmosphere can be tough for some students, but through hard work and a weekend away, it can really make the difference.
Joe Cortese can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org