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Community Service (Summer 2013)

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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.

As we enter the new millennium, one of the challenges we continue to face is helping our children understand the importance of education and helping them realize that lofty goals are attainable. With an increasing number of collegiate athletes dropping out of school early to pursue lucrative contracts in the professional arena, we are left with the question "who are our children's role models?"

At the United States Naval Academy, the Midshipmen have to balance the rigorous requirements of education, athletics and basic military training. With Navy athletes competing at the Division I level, the demands of their sports heighten the importance of maintaining solid grades. Navy is one of the few Division I schools in which all athletes must meet stringent academic expectations. This is what makes our Midshipmen such tremendous role models, successfully maintaining that balance between athletics and academics at a highly competitive level.

The Naval Academy Athletic Association works with local schools to expose youth to the Midshipmen, with the hope of providing a lasting impression. Typically, in assembly style, the Midshipmen speak to the students about life at the Academy, the experiences of competing in Division I athletics and what they've learned while at Navy, in addition to answering the multitude of questions that the students have.

If you are interested in this program, please call Sports Information Director Scott Strasemeier at 410-293-8775 for more information.

The following are a few examples of community service opportunities performed by the men and women of Navy athletics during the 2012-13 academic year.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

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.

FOOTBALL

The Navy football team, including Superintendent Vice Admiral Mike Miller, USN and head football coach Ken Niumatalolo, volunteered at St. Anthony's Dining Room in San Francisco helping hand out food and scarves to more than 4,000 people in need on a chilly Christmas morning as part of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. St. Anthony's has been feeding the homeless in San Francisco for 62 years and feeds more than 3,000 people per day, 365 days per year.

More than 30 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 Navy football posters.

SPRINT FOOTBALL

The Sprint Football team participated in the Colonel Ripley 5K and the Central Elementary Tiger Trot.

MEN'S LACROSSE

The men's lacrosse team was involved with Friends of Jaclyn and had an 11-year old with terminal brain cancer on the sideline and in the locker room during the season.

WOMEN'S LACROSSE

The women's lacrosse team participated in the honor flights program at BWI in which the team welcomed war veterans from around the country as they came to the DC area for a weekend of sight-seeing.

VARSITY OFFSHORE SAILING

Two varsity offshore sailing crews assisted Hampton Yacht Club in clean-up efforts in the aftermath of a tornado that swept through during their summer cruise block.

The team introduced 30 young sailors to "big boat" sailing and temwork in Seacliff, New York and participates annualy in the Spirit Rider 9/11 Memorial Regatta for FDNY surviving families in New York City.

The team also participated in a Wounded Warriors regatta in Annapolis.

MEN'S SOCCER

The men's soccer team, with the help of the Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks, held the "First Annual Kickball Challenge" on October 21, for kids with physical or mental handicaps.

WOMEN'S SOCCER

The women's soccer team participated in several community service events this season.

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 MLK Day through Athletes for Hope and the Boys and Girls Club in Annapolis and adopted a team member with Team IMPACT.

SQUASH

The squash team invited members of the Baltimore Squash Wise 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 team also interacted with a similar group in Philadelphia called Squash Smarts on a Saturday morning before playing in a tournament.

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING

The swimming and diving teams partnered up with their counterparts from Army for a day of free swim instruction at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Philadelphia, one day after the Army-Navy swim meet was held there.

WOMEN'S TENNIS

During its Spring Break trip to Florida, the Navy women's tennis team took some time to host a clinic at the MaliVai Washington Foundation in Jacksonville, Fla. The MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation promotes academic achievement and positive life skills in Jacksonville youth through the game of tennis. The Navy women's tennis team worked with three different groups of kids. One group of both boys and girls with age range of 8-10 years old, another group of middle school girls age range 13-14 and another mixed group 12-15 years old. Each session started with team captain Stefanie Ton speaking about the Naval Academy and its structure and purpose, followed by questions from each group. The coaching staff and players were also given the opportunity to share their experiences and to impart words of encouragement.

MEN'S TRACK & FIELD

The men's track and field team got involved with the Special Olympics helping officiate a track meet held at Ingram Field. Members of the track and field team also volunteered at the Annapolis 10 Mile Race and conducted an all-events track and field clinic at Heritage Elementary School in Chula Vista, Calif., after training at the Olympic Training Center during spring break. The entire group that traveled to San Diego provided instruction in running, jumping, and throwing events for elementary kids during their extended lunch/recess period. In all, over 250 school children got to participate and learn by doing running, jumping, throwing events and relay races supervised by about 25 members of the men's track and field team.

WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD

The women's track & field team volunteered at the Annapolis 10 Mile Race.

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