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The men and women of the United States Naval Academy have committed themselves to the service of our nation. During their four years in Annapolis, the midshipmen demonstrate their willingness to give by taking part in several community service events.
From outreach opportunities such as autograph sessions following athletic events, to working with underprivileged youths, the student-athletes at Navy give back to the area they call home during their college years.
The following are a few examples of community service opportunities performed by the men and women of Navy athletics during the 2011-12 academic year.
While facing Air Force in the Freedom Classic in Kinston, N.C., in February, the baseball team took time prior to its doubleheader to play kickball with kids of all ages from the Raising Awareness for the Developmentally Disabled group. The entire team and coaching staff took part in several games of kickball, while stopping for photos throughout the event.
Nearly 100 local youth attended the inaugural Navy Basketball FallFest in October. The event was put on free of charge at the Roger "Pip" Moyer Community Recreation Center at Truxtun Park and the team and coaching staff spent time mingling with fans, playing games with kids and hosting an autograph session.
The Mids continued their "Score for Schools" program as team members visited 10 area schools over the course of last season. The Naval Academy student-athletes talked to the youth about the importance of education, held a question and answer session, posed for pictures and signed autographs.
The team also helped out at a winter basketball clinic on Saturday mornings at Naval Support Activity Annapolis. Each Saturday, three or four team members would participate with local youth in the program.
CROSS COUNTRY, WOMEN'S
The women's cross country team volunteered at the Annapolis Mighty Milers track meet in November. The Mighty Milers is an after-school running club created by Annapolis Recreation and Parks designed to help get elementary school students engaged in physical activity. The Mids worked with the kids prior to the races and then lined the track shouting encouragements during the events. Several of the Navy cross country team members even raced alongside the competitors.
Several current and former football players participated in the Dare to Play Football Camp in June at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Dare to Play is for individuals with Down syndrome between the ages of 10 and 35, who want to be part of the action. Former All Pro wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion Ed McCaffrey, along with the Navy football team and other former and current professional athletes were on hand to provide expertise, guidance and support during this unique camp.
Fourteen Navy football players gave back to the community by appearing at the Outer Annapolis Recreation and Sports Football Camp. The players gave individual instruction to the campers on football fundamentals and handed out and signed 2011 Navy football posters.
The sprint football team supported the Colonel Ripley 5K run, the Travis Manion Foundation 5K run and the Central Elementary (Edgewater) Tiger Trot. Additionally, the coaching staff conducted a Military Appreciation Field Day at Severn School for the past two years.
The men's lacrosse team participated in the Travis Manion Foundation 5K run.
The women's lacrosse team participated in the annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics Maryland. The entire team took part in the event and raised over $3,000.
Head coach Carin Gabarra and members of the women's soccer team participated in the American Red Cross' "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program in December. The event was organized through the Athletes for Hope organization, of which Gabarra is a member. The team traveled to the Annapolis Boys & Girls Club where it assisted area youth in writing and decorating over 50 holiday cards to mail to active-duty servicemen and women stationed around the world.
In March, the Mids held a free soccer clinic at Washington, D.C.'s Excel Academy and also spoke to a group of 40 boys and girls from the KIPP NYC College Prep High School at the Naval Academy. At the Excel Academy, the team split the kindergarten and first-grade children into a number of groups and focused on teaching different techniques and also held a scrimmage. In speaking to the students from the KIPP school, the Mids stressed the values of college athletics and properly preparing for college while in high school.
The team also participated in fundraising for Headers for Hope and the B+ Foundation.
The squash team invited members of the Baltimore SquashWise program to the Naval Academy to promote the value of classroom and physical education. Student-athletes from Navy and the Baltimore-based program interacted in a two-hour practice event where the youth learned how the Navy squash team runs its practices on a daily basis, while the two groups participated in abdominal exercises, stretching, squash drills, movement exercises and competitive play. While a good chunk of the day was spent on the squash courts, the midshipmen also answered questions about their experiences at the Academy, including the benefits of a great education.
The men's tennis team hosted a total of 20 youth from the Annapolis Boys and Girls Club in March at the Brigade Sports Complex. The Mids introduced the youth to tennis and led a clinic, teaching forehand and backhand strokes, and also answered questions about the Naval Academy.
TRACK & FIELD, MEN'S
The men's track and field team got involved with the Special Olympics last year as they helped officiate a track meet held at Ingram Field. Members of the track and field team also volunteered at the Annapolis 10 Mile Race.