WORCESTER, Mass. – Three Worcester State University athletic teams paired up with the Elm Park Ministries Camp during the week of Aug. 8-12 to teach their respective sports to the Worcester youth.
“This marks the third year they’ve come to talk to our camp, and the kids love working with them,” commented Elm Park Ministries Camp Co-Director, BJ Hill. “We have a very diverse group of campers, from 13-year-old boys to refugee girls who just started learning English, but the athletes always do a wonderful job of making every kid feel comfortable at the camp.”
Worcester State University’s women’s soccer team jump started the week of camp with soccer lessons which included key fundamentals of soccer: dribbling, trapping, passing and shooting. They then ended the day with a mixed scrimmage of campers and women’s soccer players.
“Playing soccer with the kids at Elm Park is always a fun time,” said women’s soccer player, Angelina Sutherland. “The kids are always so eager to play and kick the ball around. We can't wait to do it again next year.”
On Wednesday, the Lancers football team got together with the campers and taught the children the basics of football. From passing to agility skills, the campers had the opportunity to see what it takes to be a super star on the football field.
"Giving back to the community is always great, especially when we get to teach the kids about the sport we love," expressed senior defensive lineman, Matthew Loureiro.
To wrap up the week, the men’s basketball team joined the children on Friday to teach them the fundamentals of basketball. The activities included lessons on dribbling, passing, defense and shooting.
“It was a great opportunity to give back to the Worcester community, and not only to share the sport that we love, but to help teach the kids about it,” stated Worcester State’s senior center, Paul Brooks.
“It was great to see the student-athletes all three days teach the sports they are passionate about,” commented Worcester State’s Coordinator of Student-Athletes Support Services, Kelly Downs. “They were all extremely energetic and excited to meet new kids. It was a great learning experience for our student-athletes in having to overcome the challenge of teaching campers who didn’t speak English.”
“We are fortunate that we could have members of the women’s soccer, football and men’s basketball team take time to visit this year,” added Hill.
“I am thrilled to see how the past three years we have been able to develop this community service over three days,” expressed Downs. “I am hoping that next year we can get more teams involved!”
More photos from the camps can be found on the Lancers' Facebook page