Lax team sponsors Playing for Peace
TORI ROECK | Friday, October 4, 2013
Student Government and the varsity lacrosse team will sponsor a Playing for Peace event Oct. 12 to use the power of athletics to form bonds with inner-city Chicago Catholic schools.
Student body president Alex Coccia said the event in Chicago will bring together Notre Dame students and alumni to interact with students from Cristo Rey, Hales Franciscan and St. Malachy’s high schools for a day of service and sports.
“[Playing for Peace] focuses on … building an educational culture and an ethos of conflict resolution, healthy competition-a lot of the principles you learn through sport,” Coccia said. “But at Notre Dame, we don’t want to do just sports. We want to relate it.”
Varsity lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan said the lacrosse team will host free clinics for high school students with help from student and alumni volunteers, and then the day will end with networking opportunities.
“Our goal is to use athletics and to use the energy and power of students and the brand of Notre Dame to help the students recognize and execute in the area [of service],” Corrigan said.
According to its website, Playing for Peace began in October 2010 to seek support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan. Its first event was a 3v3 basketball tournament organized by Student Government, Irish basketball coach Mike Brey and Corrigan.
Since then, Corrigan said Playing for Peace has taken on a broader goal.
“The mission is to basically help our students recognize the opportunities that they have to work in the areas of social justice, and when we say peace, we mean that in the broadest sense,” he said. “So we want to do things that help our students and help our student athletes recognize the possibilities they have, whether it’s in their own community, whether it’s on campus, or whether it’s in Chicago or around the nation or whether it’s international.”
Coccia said Chicago was an appropriate choice for a Playing for Peace event.
“We thought we can have a big impact at home, and Chicago’s a great place for it in the inner city to really promote the culture of healthy competition … and that really comes down to the education component and that support at home,” he said. “For us, it was a matter of scope and scale, and we realized that Chicago just provides so many opportunities to really do something big and get a lot of students involved.”
Coccia said he hopes those involved with this service project will maintain contact with the schools they help.
“It’s one thing to go in and do a project and leave,” he said. “It’s another to utilize that opportunity to build relationships and connections. And that’s why I think students are going to have a really valuable time there because not only are they going to get to know the schools and the students there but also the alumni.”
Corrigan said he is grateful for the help of the Monogram Club and the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Chicago for getting alumni involved with the event.
The number of groups participating in this event shows how influential the Notre Dame community can be, Coccia said.
“On a more macro level, too, it’s nice to see this event as something really focusing on Playing for Peace as a collaboration between athletics and Student Government and other campus groups to really show the power that athletics and the student body can have,” he said.
Students can sign up for the event by emailing Coccia at firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday, Oct. 7.
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