SNHU field hockey poses with Team Impact’s Riley the day she was recruited (SNHU Penmen).

SNHU athletic teams are taking initiatives to give back to the community as a requirement through the athletic department.

Field hockey, volleyball, baseball and hockey spoke about their community service initiatives and how they have impacted their teams and the community.

On October 27, field hockey partook in National Girls and Women in Sport Day in which the team taught young girls how to play field hockey.

The field hockey team also participated in Playing for a Purpose.

“It’s high school teams that come together to support cancer survivors and people that are dealing with cancer. Everybody comes together and just plays field hockey,” said Maddie Holt (’19) about Playing for a Purpose.

Almost all SNHU teams participate in a community service project called Team Impact. This national nonprofit connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life changing outcomes.

The field hockey team recruited five-year-old Riley through Team Impact to the team this fall. Riley is a vibrant young girl diagnosed with Leigh’s Disease, a neurological disease characterized by a progressive loss of mental and movement abilities and typically results in death within two to three years.

The team is proud to have added Riley to the roster. She is always looking forward to meeting new people and can brighten a room with her smile.

“I think (having Riley) has touched us more…than it has touched them because I don’t know how we could ever give back to her the inspiration that she has given to us,” said Goalkeeper Melanie Rennie.

Baseball also took advantage of Team Impact when they recruited Ian Price through the organization this spring. During the NCAA World Series, Price made a deal with the Penmen. If he stood up and walked to his van, the Penmen would then have to win their World Series matchup against the University of Southern Indiana. They did.

The story quickly went viral and was featured on WMUR and NBC Boston. Price successfully made the walk through a tunnel of cheering Penmen and then cheered them on later in the day, as the team recorded its second World Series victory in program history.

Ice hockey recently took advantage of Team Impact as well. According to Head Coach Sean Walsh, the team recruited a young boy through the organization, but he has not yet met the team.

“Our kid has a certain disease and it is a way that he can be part of the team,” he said. “The team will meet him around Veteran’s day.”

Volleyball is partaking in other acts of community service. They are planning a clinic to benefit the victims of the gas explosions in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Volleyball is also donating items to the Cupboard, which is the on-campus food pantry located in the Student Center. Volleyball, along with men’s and women’s soccer, have hosted games benefiting the Cupboard.

SNHU athletic teams enjoy partaking in community service projects. Whether through Team Impact or for the Cupboard, SNHU teams are leaving their mark on the community to benefit others. Community service can be done as a team or as individuals and can change the outcome of someone’s life while establishing life-long long relationships.

Catherine Lachance
Catherine is a junior at SNHU majoring in communications and minoring in psychology. She is in her first year as Lead Copy Editor for the Press. She previously served as Sports Editor for a year and a half. She has a passion for writing and sharing people's stories and loves interacting with the SNHU athletic community. In addition to the Press, Catherine has written professionally for Turley Publications in Palmer, Massachusetts. She is also a tennis coach at Longmeadow Country Club in Longmeadow, Massachusetts during the summer. Catherine is also working on her website, Cat's Writing Blog, where she shares all the stories she has written for press, as well as personal experiences she has gone through. She hopes to receive an internship next year at a journalism or marketing agency.

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