Field hockey alumni rely on former teammates in transition

first_imgThe Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.Emma Russell wanted to see the West Coast again before leaving the United States and Syracuse. So, in late May 2016, Russell and field hockey teammate Alma Fenne headed to California where they went whale watching in Monterey, visited Yosemite National Park and stayed with Russell’s uncle for 10 days.Eventually, the two went north to Oregon to watch some friends on the Syracuse track and field team compete in the national championships. After that, the pair headed back to Syracuse one last time before Russell departed for New York City, where she boarded a flight to Ireland. This time, she only needed a one-way ticket. After calling Syracuse home for four years, Russell said it was difficult to leave. It’s more than leaving field hockey behind, 2018 alum Lies Lagerweij said. For players leaving Syracuse and their teammates and coaches, the post-graduation adjustment is difficult, Lagerweij said. Moments and rituals — like horoscope Mondays, a weekly team event at Recess Coffee where players read each other’s horoscopes — were the hardest to let go, she said. “The simple things like getting changed in the locker room and listening to music together and hanging out before games, going to Bruegger’s for breakfast, just little rituals like that,” Lagerweij said. “I miss those a lot.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLagerweij still sees former teammates Roos Weers and Borg van der Velde from time to time, since all three live in the Netherlands. And Russell visits from Ireland in her spare time. Like any alumna, Weers misses her friends from SU, but it’s Syracuse’s field hockey program that she misses most.That includes Corey Parker, the strength and conditioning coach who was key throughout Weers’ collegiate career, the woman who cleaned the locker room before the team’s 7 a.m. practices, and the lady who sat at the front desk of Stevenson Educational Center where athletes met with academic tutors.Since graduating, Russell has had to cope with a loss of team spirit and community. In addition to four hours a day on the field with her teammates, they also ate together every night.Teammates used to wander across South Campus and into Russell and Lagerweij’s apartment, which served as a meeting hub because of its proximity to Manley Field House, Russell said. Now, Russell relies on video calls to stay in touch with her teammates.“It really did take me nearly a year to kind of settle back in and kind of adjust to a new lifestyle a little bit,” Russell said.While Russell trained with the team once a week during the spring before she graduated, she talked with Lauren Brooks, an SU alum assisting the team during the fall 2015 season, about the upcoming transition. Brooks was helpful because she understood the difficulties, Russell said. Two years later, when Lagerweij wrapped up her college career, she turned to Russell with the same questions about life after graduation.Because of the team’s lack of a hierarchy, Lagerweij said that once younger players became the leaders of the team, they felt comfortable turning to former teammates for post-graduation advice.“Graduation is a very mixed feeling, because yes, you’re excited about what’s to come,” Lagerweij said. “But still it’s just really hard to leave a place where you’ve been for so long, that’s been your home for so long.”For Lagerweij, she’ll always remember the time she returned to her dorm after visiting the hospital with a knee injury. Once she opened her door, she saw all her freshman teammates with a cookie cake and a card. While on a recruiting visit to Syracuse, she didn’t believe that her team would become like family — but after her freshman season, she changed her mind. Leaving a team of people who she spent countless hours around was challenging for everyone, but Russell understood the importance of transitioning away. It takes time, Russell said, but eventually she was ready.“When everyone’s kind of moving on, it’s easier for you to, to kind of get a move on as well,” Russell said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on August 26, 2020 at 10:34 pm Contact Thomas: [email protected] | @ThomasShults5last_img read more

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Lions roam this playground

first_img“We made a commitment to spend $23,000 this year, and another $23,000 next year,” Lions member and past president Doug Lopez said. Lopez said the Lions Club typically gives about $2,500 to the school each year, but has recently been unusually successful in drawing in funds, raising more than $100,000 last year. According to Lopez, the $23,000 the Lions spent on the project covered what would normally cost more than $40,000, because one Lions member specializes in building playgrounds and did much of the work at cost. The playground presented special challenges to builders struggling to accommodate kids with special needs. Plastic play equipment cannot be used on the playground because static electricity interferes with equipment the children use to hear. Metal slides must be used, and a canopy was needed to keep the surface cool. The Lions placed a canopy over a wooden play area, painted it in bright colors, and attached periscopes, steering wheels and a listening tube to it. They also created new storage sheds for emergency supplies and sports equipment. “They’re thrilled,” Roche said of the children. “They’re just beside themselves.” Ramon Mora, 11, said he likes to play tetherball and use the periscope on the refurbished play area. “I like playing in the park, and climbing up and down,” Ramon said. Dylan Hernandez, 9, said he also enjoys the new playground and looks forward to his time there. “I think it’s cool,” Dylan said. “I like it because it’s so colorful, and I like to go on the slide because of the canopy. Now it’s not so hot.” Dylan said he watched the Lions working on stretching the canopy over the play area ground and asked questions while they worked. “They were nice,” Dylan said. “They show you stuff.” Brennan Ackerman, 7, said he especially likes the new play surface, which stays cooler than asphalt. “It’s kind of soft and bouncy,” Brennan said. Roche said the playground would never have been possible without the Lions. “We tried to be good stewards with it by fixing it and maintaining it when we can, but we just don’t have the resources to do it,” Roche said. “We feel very blessed by them.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThe children are given hearing aids and implants to help them use what hearing they have. The goal of the school is to reintegrate kids into mainstream education. The school is private, however, and supervisors struggle to give the children play equipment as well as a quality education. “We don’t have access to newer playground equipment,” Roche said. “We don’t have newer things and nicer things, which is unfortunate because we’ve always taught them that they’re just like everyone else.” Roche said the playground had not been renovated in 25 years, and the sand base in which it was planted was problematic for students, who wear hearing aids and implants that can be damaged by dust. The Lions Club, which has supported the school with small, annual donations, approached the school about finishing a larger project for them. WHITTIER – At the Oralingua School of the Hearing Impaired, deaf children are taught to listen and speak just like any other youngster. But until last week, the play equipment was just not like other schools’. The dilapidated playground, some of it unusable, was repaired and improved by the Whittier Host Lions Club, which installed $40,000 in new equipment. “They gave our children something that they’ve never had before,” said school director Elisa Roche. “They gave our children a beautiful and safe place to play and, every day, we as a school reap those benefits.” Roche said the school teaches about 60 students ranging in age from 2 weeks to 11 years. last_img read more

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