WASHINGTON, D.C. - Catholic University student athletes joined forces with Campus Ministry's Brookland Outreach on Sunday, April 28 to host the sixth annual Brookland Field Day at Cardinal Stadium.
Brookland Field Day is an event for the children and families in the campus' surrounding community of Brookland. Families are invited to enjoy an active day at the DuFour Center by participating in games and activities hosted by Catholic student-athletes. Members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and their teammates facilitate drills, games, and skills related to their respective sports to give the children of Brookland a variety of activities for the afternoon. Overall, the day is a way to integrate the Brookland community with Catholic student-athletes through the education of sport.
"Children in the Brookland community get to see how much student-athletes truly enjoy their time spent here at Catholic," said Catholic Brookland Outreach Leader and senior women's lacrosse player, Kayla Purdy. "Through interacting with the children and their families as they participate in activities that we host, we have the special opportunity to influence young minds and guide them towards creating their own active and healthy lifestyle."
The threat of rain held off as more than a couple hundred members of the local community made their way to Cardinal Stadium on Sunday for the festivities. Members of 16 varsity teams including men's & women's basketball, field hockey, football, men's & women's lacrosse, men's & women's swimming & diving, men's & women's track & field, volleyball, men's and women's rowing, softball, and men's and women's soccer led sport-specific activities for the participants.
Each team set up stations for games and drills that the children could participate in on the turf. The lacrosse teams tried passing and shooting on a goalie while the basketball teams brought a hoop and cornhole boards to the turf for kids to shoot.
The football team let children try its bag drills and tossed the ball around, and the soccer teams set up goals for quick games between a handful of participants. The swim teams hosted a water balloon toss and dryland relay races while the rowing teams even brought out an erg rowing machine for kids to try.
"It was a lot of fun playing with the kids and seeing how happy they were," said men's basketball junior Riley Hayes. "We got to have a lot of positive interactions with both the kids and parents from the Brookland community."
The day at the DuFour is another example of student-athletes integrating with Campus Ministry to serve in different capacities throughout the school year, in addition to the Mother Teresa Day of Service and MLK Jr. Day of Service.
"Brookland Field Day provides a great opportunity for our athletic programs to connect with the Brookland and Catholic University communities," said head women's lacrosse coach Meghan McDonogh. "Our student athletes are great representatives and it is on full display when working with the children in our community."
The annual field day is a unique service opportunity that allows the student-athletes to share the sport that they love with children who look up to them.
"Getting the chance to play with these children and influence them in such a positive way is extremely rewarding for the student athletes here at Catholic," Purdy said. "It's a great way to be involved in the community even during a busy season!"