March 22, 2013

Women's lacrosse mentors inner-city youth

PHILADELPHIA - The Haverford College women's lacrosse team recently spent a day mentoring a group of inner-city children in the West Kensington section of Philadelphia.

Participating in the Values Through Sports program taking place at the New Creation Community Center, the Fords spent time getting to know 20-30 children through playing wiffle ball, street hockey and four square, as well as completing various arts and crafts.

A lunch-time break enabled the members of the team to share information about their respective majors and anticipated career paths. Players who studied abroad during the fall spoke about where they lived, and offered brief history and geography lessons on each of the countries.

The afternoon provided the Fords an opportunity to pass on their passion for the game of lacrosse. Educating the children in the rules of the game, the Haverford players demonstrated various skills and imparted a few drills and stick tricks. This was the initial exposure to lacrosse for many of the participants but they were very open to learning about the sport.

Haverford head coach Lauren Wray applauded the program's efforts for helping the West Kensington youth develop a belief that they can shape their destiny with dedication to their schoolwork and by contributing something valuable to their community.

"Our time spent volunteering with the Values Through Sports program was a fantastic experience," reflected Wray. "We were grateful to be able to share the game we play with kids who have never had the opportunity to enjoy it."

Wray is already looking forward to future opportunities to make a difference. "We hope to return to work with the group next fall and to continue to foster an ongoing mentoring relationship with the children," said the second-year coach.

The mission of the Values Through Sports program is to help at-risk, inner-city youth develop the values, self-esteem and life skills necessary to become responsible, productive adults.