As the season gets underway, the James Madison University women’s lacrosse team has not only spent time preparing for competition but has also used the little free time they have left to work to better the community. Throughout the month of January, the team participated in multiple service activities including organizing and orchestrating a clothing drive and skills clinic.
On January 20, the team joined with the Mercy House of Harrisonburg to collect items for those in need. They spent the afternoon collecting socks and canned goods and then dispersing the items where necessary.
After working with the Mercy House, the team desired to do more. The following week they donated their time and skills to orchestrating the clinic for the Potomac chapter of US Lacrosse. The clinic consists of two sessions. The morning welcomed school-age girls from third through eighth grades while the afternoon was designated high school girls. Each session was similar but aimed to cater to the different needs of each age group.
“We try to teach fundamental skills to both groups while encouraging them to work outside of the comfort zone,” stated senior, Leah Perrota. “This way they are able to really learn something new.”
The clinic consisted of multiple stations that were organized and led by a JMU lacrosse player. This set up allowed the girls to gain direct insight about college lacrosse, and the JMU players had the opportunity to be creative in teaching the skills.
Assistant coach Samantha Eustace explained, “Our players really do a standout job and are a part of why [the clinic] was sold out again this year.
Aside from the experience and knowledge, one great aspect about the clinic is that the money raised is used towards improving the Potomac Chapter. These improvements will allow for more opportunities and awareness for women’s lacrosse in the area, something that the JMU lacrosse team is also striving towards.
“Lacrosse really tries to instill giving back to the sport,” stated Eustace. “It's something our team is involved in each year.”
At the end of the clinic, the participants and JMU players alike were laughing, practicing how to bark like a Duke Dog and celebrating their newfound skills
“This is something that our team does because it keeps the game fun,” explained Perrota. “It reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously and to have a passion for the game we play.”
Reigniting the passion for the sport they love, the team is thankful for the opportunities and experiences they gained through these service events and are looking forward to their 2014 season.