PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – On Dec. 3, the Bryn Mawr College field hockey team traveled to the Bache-Martin Elementary in Philadelphia to introduce and teach the sport they love to 4th and 5th grade students. Spearheaded by sophomore Madison Beckmann, the team received sticks, balls, cones and a practice plan from USA Field Hockey and Harrow Sports as part of their FUNdamental field hockey initiative.
The afternoon started with a quick introduction of the instructors and what would take place. Eager to teach, the players were excited to see the enthusiasm on the participant's faces and their willingness to learn.
"I believe it is very important to give back as a team," said Beckmann. "We are so lucky to play at the college level and should share our passion for field hockey with those who do not have access."
Being shown how to properly hold the stick and other basic rules for field hockey, it was on to demonstrations. Showing off their nifty stick work and passing skills from Beckmann and classmate Mikah Farbo, it was the Bache-Martin students turn and they didn't disappoint.
"Working with the children at Bache-Martin Elementary School was so rewarding," stated head coach Marci Scheuing. "It was very special to see my team reaching out and helping in the community."
The day continued as the participants were split up between the team members for more one-on-one instruction and continued support for their new skills and talents. Three small groups continued to work on their passing as well as being introduced dribbling and pulls. After mastering dribbling, passing, and pulls, the 4th and 5th graders played games to put their new skills to the test. Once again, the young field hockey enthusiasts impressed everyone in the gym.
As the day came to an end, there was one more order of business, a relay race. In the race, three teams of the students were formed as they had to dribble around cones, perform one pull and then pass the ball off. With a dead heat race in tow and their teams cheering them on, the last player from each team was off. In the end, it didn't matter which team won as all the relays were excited for their new skill and appreciation for field hockey.
"College athletics is so much more than just playing a game and I am so proud that the field hockey players from Bryn Mawr have learned that lesson already," exclaimed Scheuing.
In the end, 14 students and one teacher along with team members Madison Beckmann, Holly Constants, Caroline Herman, Mikah Farbo, Nina Shmorhun, Cynthia Valdez as well as coaches Caroline Heffernan and Marci Scheuing, made this event a fun and successful one.
Beckmann added "I am very thankful to have such a wonderful team who made a difference to the kids. I am thankful also for the partnership with USA Field Hockey and their programs You Go Girl and Fundamental Field hockey as well as Harrow field hockey."
This event was not the first time Beckmann has given back to the community. In her native of St. Louis, Mo., Beckmann founded Coat-A-Kid, Inc. (http://www.coatakid.org/) to make sure all kids in the greater St. Louis area had a coat. Since November 2001, Coat-A-Kid has coated over 6,200 kids.
Fundamental Field Hockey is a youth development initiative to expose the sport to thousands of children nationwide by providing free equipment and emphasizing fun physical activity! In 2012, USA Field Hockey has committed to launching 250 programs across the United States in an effort to inspire participation and introduce the sport to over 15,000 boys and girls, ages 7-11. The program will teach the game in its basic form focusing on the ‘fun’damentals!