HADLEY, Mass. – Student-athletes at NESCAC institutions participated in a variety of events ranging from Instagram takeovers to Special Olympics clinics, to celebrate Division III Week, which took place April 2-8. In addition, each institution participated in a conference-wide community service competition.
Division III Week was an opportunity to celebrate the positive impact of athletics and student-athletes on campuses and in the surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office was encouraged to conduct an outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. More information about Division III Week can be found here.
April 2, members of each institution's SAAC took over the NESCAC Instagram account for a day to show what a day in the life of a Division III student-athlete looks like on their campus. The takeover series wrapped up on April 12.
Institutions participated in a conference-wide community service competition, tagged #NESCACGivesBack. Coordinated by the NESCAC Student Advisory Committee on Athletics (SAAC), institutions competed to see who could get the highest percentage of student-athletes involved in community service activities throughout Division III Week. Tufts was named the winner after student-athletes volunteered their time to clothing and canned food drives, bake sales and fundraising initiatives to support hurricane relief efforts, and assembled care packages for the troops and wrote cards to hospitalized children. The Jumbos also volunteered their time to help clean up the Mystic River and made blankets to be donated to Project Linus.
The Amherst SAAC partnered with Amherst Green Athletics to collect used shoes to be donated to ReRun Shoes, an organization which provides shoes to children and families in underdeveloped nations in Africa. Similarly, Williams student-athletes collected old and worn out athletic shoes to send to the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program. The program grinds up the shoes, which would otherwise end up in a landfill, to make athletic and playground surfaces and reduce waste. Trinity student-athletes supported the Red Sneakers for Oakley campaign by wearing red throughout the week. Red Sneakers for Oakley is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for the dangers of food allergies. The Bantam men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, and softball teams all wore red in their home games during Division III Week to support the cause.
The Hamilton SAAC worked with the Community Outreach and Opportunities Project (COOP) to engage in a week of service. The Continentals’ initiatives were weekday service trips that took place each weekday morning and afternoon, as well as a Saturday Day of Service. They visited and worked with organizations such as the Rome Humane Society, the Kirkland Art Center, Thea Bowman House, Special Olympics of Rome, and CNY Veteran’s Outreach Center. Bowdoin student-athletes volunteered throughout the week at events like a Be the Match bone marrow registry drive and by spending time preparing and serving meals at a local soup kitchen.
Wesleyan’s athletic teams organized the WesTHON Spikeball Tournament in support of Wesleyan’s dance marathon, an annual event which benefits the Miracle Network. Teams also spent time with their Team IMPACT teammates and honored them at select games. The Cardinals partnered with Special Olympics to host on-campus events throughout the week and also spent time cleaning up local neighborhoods and assisting with a campus-wide blood drive. At Colby, student-athletes worked with elementary school mentees through the Colby Cares About Kids program. Teams also spent time visiting local elementary schools to engage in after school activities with the students through the athletic department's Mini Mules program. Student-athletes also volunteered at the Alfond Youth Center.