POUGHKEEPSIE - Members of several different Marist athletics teams participated in a weekend of community service from March 28-30. The athletics department and the McCann Center hosted events that saw over 300 attendees and many student-athlete volunteers.

On Friday, March 28, eight different teams volunteered at Marist’s annual Girl Scouts Sports Clinic, sponsored by Marist LEAP program (Ladies Empowering Athletic Program). Local Girl Scout troops from throughout the Hudson Valley are invited to learn how to play a variety of different sports, from soccer to water polo. Members of those two women’s teams, as well as student-athletes from the women’s basketball, volleyball, tennis, track and field, and crew teams taught over 100 girls their respective sports.

Cammie Jones, the assistant director at the Student-Athlete Enhancement Center, says that this event gives these young girls exposure to a lot of different sports that they have never tried.

“It is really fun when you get a girl to try water polo or lacrosse for the first time,” Jones said. “This is LEAP’s third year doing it, and we have parents that come back with their kids that say the clinic helped their child get involved with one specific sport. It’s really cool to see.”

The next day, on Saturday, March 29, Marist hosted the Hudson Valley Special Olympics Regional event, where Special Olympics athletes participated in swimming, powerlifting, and basketball competitions.

It is one of the biggest community service events that Marist has during the spring semester. The football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams all volunteered during the day. The jobs included refereeing games, clock management, scorekeeping, assisting with the awards ceremony, helping athletes with their individual competitions and cheering on the participants.

Finally, the men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted Kids’ Day Out on Sunday, March 30. The clinic allows young kids, typically around the age of six and seven years old, to learn fundamental skills from college basketball players.

All three events provided Marist student-athletes with leadership and mentoring opportunities.

“All of the events served as great opportunities for our student-athletes to develop their leadership and coaching skills that a lot of them have a passion for,” Jones said. “It’s always great to give back to the community.”