The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s (SAAC) Division III week gives athletes “a chance to work together,” according to Carrah Fisk Hennessey, SAAC advisor and softball head coach.
DIII week, which occurs annually, began Monday, April 4 and ended Friday, April 8.
Hennessey said that DIII week is an opportunity to take a break and appreciate what being a student-athlete means at its core.
Hennessey said that it is important to remember that DIII week is not just another chance at competition, but rather a chance at camaraderie. “DIII week is not a competition in itself. This year, SAAC created a scavenger hunt for our teams to partake in- one clue each day with photo proof- yet, the main idea behind DIII week is to share information about being a student-athlete at the NCAA Division III level, highlighting our academic and athletic prowess as well as our service to the campus and Keene communities,” Hennessey said.
As with many other campus organizations and groups, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a pause on planning activities. However, Hennessey said that SAAC has done their best to work around those obstacles.
“Prior to COVID, we held a Greeks vs Athletes Olympics with a Penny War fundraiser for Special Olympics of NH (SONH). Due to COVID, we have had to get creative! The ‘Pie a Coach’ fundraiser for SONH was wildly successful this year – and, as it was set-up on Appian Way Tuesday, many community members had the opportunity to take part. We are also planning to spotlight mental health… access to resources on campus and online as well as the message to ‘Break the Stigma’ surrounding mental health challenges,” Hennessey said.
Hennessey said that the students who take part in SAAC play a large role when it comes to planning, while keeping in mind the groups that they aim to help.
“Our SAAC group creates the list of events and activities each year, knowing that we aim to support our national NCAA DIII partner Special Olympics at some point during the week,” she said.
“This year SAAC chose to use social media- through individual team accounts, our KSC SAAC accounts and with the support of the official Athletics accounts- to highlight the facets of being a successful DIII student-athlete: Monday was academic prowess, Tuesday was Special Olympics of NH, Wednesday was athletic traditions of success, Thursday was mental health, Friday was community partnerships and service, Saturday was OWLS competitions and shout-outs and Sunday was a recap of the week,” she concluded.
DIII week showcases the kinds of athletes that Keene State strives to have on their teams.
“NCAA DIII week is an opportunity to celebrate being intercollegiate student-athletes by highlighting what we do in sport, in the classroom and in the community. It is also an opportunity to have some fun as a collective group, proud to represent KSC and thankful to compete in NCAA sport,” she said.
The Equinox reached out to graduate student Paxton Blanchard, SAAC President; sophomore Molly Edmark, Little East Conference (LEC) Representative and DIII week chair; sophomore Rylee Burgess, DIII week chair and first-year Adessa Noyes, DIII chair. They did not respond to a request to comment.
Piper Pavelich can be contacted