Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information
MEDFORD, Mass. - The Tufts men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are taking part in a new movement has given extra meaning to every mile, every sprint, every yard this season.
Yards for Yeardley is an initiative that functions in conjunction with the One Love Foundation, an organization that raises awareness about relationship violence. It was started after former University of Virginia (UVA) women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2010.
Yards for Yeardley is the brainchild of Boston College women’s lacrosse players Molly Erdle and Covie Stanwick, as well as UVA’s Caroline Seats. Earlier this January, they challenged teams across the country to run one million yards in one month. Both the men’s and women’s teams at Tufts took the pledge.
“One of my friends plays for the University of Virginia women's lacrosse team and helped start the Yards for Yeardley movement,” says Tufts men’s lacrosse captain Cole Bailey. “I learned about the movement through her and I knew I wanted to get our team involved.”
The men’s team has compiled almost 725,000 yards, while the women’s team has logged 700,000 yards.
“As a women's lacrosse team, it was important to us all to support a cause that directly affected a fellow athlete, but also to support the many other women who suffer relationship violence every day,” says women’s lacrosse captain Kali DiGate.
“The unfortunate reality is that one in three women experience relationship violence, but often nothing is done about the situation,” says Bailey. “By joining the cause we want to help raise awareness on this issue and change the social norms around relationship violence.”
Players keep track of their individual yardage, and coaches record their own efforts as well.
“I believe the most gratifying thing about participating in this movement is it gives us all something to run for,” says DiGate. “It gives us something to keep us on that treadmill or track for the extra mile to get those extra yards. It is making the hard work that we are putting into preseason mean that much more because it is supporting such an important cause for women. Not only do we all as a team receive self-gratification for pushing ourselves to run so many extra yards, but we also know that we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves and the season. Every extra yard we run is supporting the end of relationship violence.”
For more information about the One Love Foundation, visit the following link: http://www.joinonelove.org