RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Despite a schedule that called for 10 games in seven days during its recent trip to Clermont, Fla., the Felician University softball team was able to take some time to meet some local youngsters for a morning of instruction and inspiration.
As part of its participation in THE Spring Games in Clermont from Mar. 3-9, coach Chris Foye and the Golden Falcons elected to participate in the tournament's Adopt-A-Team program. PFX Athletics, the nonprofit organization which runs THE Spring Games, pairs participants with a local elementary school classroom. Felician was partnered with Mrs. Rogers' kindergarten class at Clermont Elementary.
"Part of our mission at Felician University is to promote service to others while taking part in different learning experiences," said Foye, in his third season with Felician. "I believe it's important for our team to get involved in various off-the-field opportunities, whether it be in the northern New Jersey community or nationally. The Adopt-A-Team program that PFX runs provided us with a great chance for our players to share the experience of being a student athlete with children, while teaching them the core values learned on our campus."
In December, the kindergartners were notified of their partnership, and began doing classroom research on Felician and the sport of softball. In January through PFX, the class and the Golden Falcons exchanged "get-to-know-you" videos and care packages. The groups were finally able to meet at Clermont Elementary on Tue., Mar. 8, a day off on Felician's competitive schedule.
"Being out with the kids was a great experience," said Felician co-captain Jackie Dueñas (Riverside, Calif./Arlington). "We were able to tell them how what they do in the classroom or at home applies to being an athlete in any sport, and we went outside and showed them a few softball skills. They were proud to show us what they've accomplished in class. It was nice to take a break from our schedule to interact and have fun with the kids."