By Harry Pearse
Every college athletic team governed by the NCAA has to partake in community service, according to the NCAA website and rulebook. This means that in every institution, every athletic team, such as basketball, football, soccer, swimming, lacrosse, baseball, etc. has to do a certain amount of community service hours.
Andreas Lindberg, head coach of the LIU Post men’s soccer team, believes that the mandatory community service hours are worthwhile.
“I think that the compulsory community service that all athletics teams have to do is great; it really keeps the college entwined with locals,” he said. “If it isn’t a local event, it keeps LIU Post on the map, in terms of people knowing and understanding the cause of not only the school, but the athletic program too.”
For example, the men’s soccer team travelled to the Little Flower Center for children and adults, which is based in North Wading, NY. They performed many soccer drills and participated in games with the children on Friday, March 27.
One of the coordinators of the event and a teacher at the school, Regia DeAlmeida, said that the community service hours athletic teams fulfill are great for children in regard to their confidence and overall mood. “Many of the kids love soccer, so to have a team such as the LIU Post men’s soccer team come down and do a series of sessions and games with them is outstanding,” she said.
“The children here at Little Flower haven’t had the best lives so far, so to have the amazing attitude and happiness that the young men at Post brought really goes a long way for the children to enjoy themselves and raise their spirits,” DeAlmeida added.
The community service work of the athletic teams varies. Athletes from the field hockey and football teams partook in a charity ice plunge on March 27 in Oyster Bay, NY, raising money for the Special Olympics. “The Polar Plunge was an excellent event for us to participate in,” said Bryan Collins, the Head Football Coach and Director of Athletics and Recreation.”
“Part of our athletic program’s mission is for our student-athletes to be involved in service to others, and what better way to do this than to commit to another group of athletes,” Collins said. “I’m proud of all of our football and field hockey players, as well as staff members, that contributed to the day and took the plunge for Special Olympics.”
The athletic programs and Coach Collins feel that it is extremely important to utilize these mandatory hours, and get the best out of community service. “It’s been a tremendous effort to serve the community and help in every way that [we] can,” Collins added.