Field hockey enjoys international experience during spring break

Field hockey enjoys international experience during spring break

Team blends community service with games in Barbados

Field hockey trip to Barbados photo gallery

It's all about choices.

There are literally hundreds of destinations just a plane ride away for college students at spring break. Some students opt to chase the winter doldrums by choosing an island setting with warm sun and sandy beaches. Other students choose to use their free time to help others by volunteering for a community service project. The Fairfield University field hockey took the best of both worlds when it chose to head to Barbados for its spring break.

The team played four games against university and club teams during their stay, posting a 2-1-1 record in those games. Plus, the Stags spent more than 60 hours helping with various tasks such as reading to and tutoring kids at a children's development centre on the island. The student athletes worked with children of all ages during their stay, spending time at the day care facility (infants to two-years old), the middle school (7-14 years of age), and high school/college students (15-25 years of age).

"It was a truly rewarding experience," Head Coach Jackie Kane said. "Everyone welcomed us and you could see how much they appreciated us being there. That was the best part - to see the faces of the children when we read to them or just talked with them. I couldn't have asked for a better experience for our team."

The development centre is a multi-purpose unit that provides care and treatment for handicapped children in Barbados. It also provides day care and educational training of handicapped individuals in work-related fields.

The team also found time to train during its stay in Barbados. The Stags won a game and tied a second contest against two club teams, defeated the University of West Indies, and lost a game against current and former Barbados national team players.

Despite the hectic schedule, the student-athletes still found time for relaxation, an much easier task when you are surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

With their 60-plus hours of community service, the field hockey team has completed over 250 hours of service during this academic year. But, the team still has more hours to give to the community.

"Our goal at the beginning of the year was to complete 500 hours of community service," Coach Kane said. "So, we still have a ways to go to reach that goal."

While the setting may not be as exotic as Barbados, the team certainly has many choices to reach that goal.

Posted On: 04-03-2007 10:04 AM

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