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Athletics have the power to change lives. Whether it is a Nationals player or a local high school basketball team everyone can make a difference in someone’s life.
The varsity boys basketball team has taken on this challenge as every other Friday we go to Fallsmead Elementary School and join a first grade class.
The whole team walks in and we split into four different classrooms to try to help out children who are struggling or need help doing an assignment. This past week our team went and handed out Dr. Seuss books with inspirational notes inside. For example I handed out a note that said, “Never give up, believe in yourself.” These small tips can change a kid’s day and make him feel a new sense of confidence.
Every player got their own group of kids and we each read a different Dr. Seuss book. We also invite the kids to one of our games and at halftime we take a picture with all of the kids who come. It is big for a first grader to be on the court and take a picture with a high school varsity player. “This week was the first time I have gone over there, it was awesome to be able to see the influence you can have on people,” senior center Andy Ram said.
Every school around the county should give back to the community like this. Wootton baseball and lacrosse also try to help out the youth and make a difference in the community. Lacrosse and baseball both hold community day, where the players help young kids learn about the sport and try to understand the complex nature of the game. This is important because it really can influence a young kid to try different sports and feel confident.
The impact of a high schooler helping out a six or seven year old can be exponential. “I love going out and trying to help someone who wants to learn and understand the game of baseball,” senior outfielder Brett Olsen said.
Other sports are seeing the impact of these events and trying to replicate. Field hockey has taken steps to try to create their own community day. This would be another event that would get the youth community involved in Wootton athletics. As community days continue to grow so will the participation in different sports. As field hockey community day starts the number of players in the future will hopefully increase. “I hope this community day happens, because it’ll be great to help the younger kids, and attract more people to play field hockey,” junior midfielder Rachel Son said.