Griffins Share More Than Basketball with Fairhill Youth
Courtesy of Greg Gornick, Chestnut Hill SID
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – Learning more about themselves and the community around them, the Chestnut Hill College women's basketball team recently took some time out of a busy winter schedule to visit with the students of the Fairhill School in South Philadelphia.
"Any opportunity to reach out and engage our community is something that the women's basketball program at Chestnut Hill College is more than willing to participate in. Our student-athletes spent the day learning more about themselves from those young kids, than we could ever teach the young children who participated." issued a pleased Head Coach, Laura Pruitt. "The student-athletes were there as positive role models who left a huge impression on the children they encountered and represented our program and school with the utmost class and professionalism".
On Wednesday, January 11, the Griffins held a basketball clinic for approximately 50 students, kindergarten through eighth grade, and then stayed for lunch and conversation on topics ranging from being a female collegiate student-athlete, to basketball, school, and life. Upon return to the Chestnut Hill College campus, the Griffins met with Assistant Director of Athletics for Academic Success and Community Engagement, Nikki Lockhart, to reflect on the afternoon of service. Lockhart summarized, "Our team shared with the Fairhill students their experiences of being female student-athletes and the Fairhill students reminded our women why they played basketball in the first place; because it was something they loved doing." Coach Pruitt concurred in her reflection on the afternoon, "The kids at Fairhill School embodied what playing a sport is all about…having fun, working with peers, and despite difficulties that arise they continued to try their personal best. Those are qualities that student-athletes often forget because they become so consumed with just winning and losing games, it was an eye opening experience for all involved." Senior captain, Ashlen Stayrook, appreciated the experience and what it meant to her and her teammates, "Having the opportunity to volunteer our time at Fairhill was a wonderful experience. The children and young ladies of the basketball team reminded me of why I am so lucky to be a part of the CHC (Chestnut Hill College) women's basketball team".
A week after the clinic, several Fairhill School students traveled to Chestnut Hill College to watch the Griffins challenge Philadelphia University in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) contest. The Griffins lost by six points, 63-57, but seeing their new found friends and hearing their support was a victory for all. Delighted to see the project come full circle, Lockhart concluded, "Based on our discussion in reflection, I feel that both parties really gained a lot by sharing a similar interest: basketball. In the end, it was not just about basketball, but it was about all the extra things it takes to be a successful student-athlete. The day was a great success."