Athletic department recognized for volunteer work

Skylar Blankenship
Sports Editor

The Athletics Department volunteered in many capacities. Both at college sponsored and separate organized functions. COUTESY OF ATHLETICS.HVCC.EDU

The Athletics Department volunteered in many capacities. Both at college sponsored and separate organized functions.

“It’s important to give back to the community that supports us, on and off the field, each and every day”, said sophomore computer science major Niko Culnan, an offensive lineman for the men’s football team.

The Hudson Valley Athletics Department clearly echoes this sentiment, as the Vikings recently received the NJCAA Region 3 Community Service Award.

“This award is very special and something that I take great pride in as an administrator. Giving back to the community is an integral component of developing our student-athletes, and our coaches do a great job of reinforcing our mission,” Director of Athletics Justin Hoyt said. “We look forward to continue serving and building relationships with our community.”

Student-athletes have participated and volunteered at events such as the 9th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, Relay for Life of Rensselaer County and Race Away Stigma 5K Race and Fun Walk.

“There are many important issues and causes that exist in the community, and if we are able to participate and help out, I think it is important to do so,” continues Culnan.

The Vikings have volunteered at the college’s annual Pumpkin Palooza by helping with decorations, carnival games and dressing up in costume.

The athletic department also worked with the Troy Boy’s and Girl’s Club participating in the 9th Annual Pizza Palooza and helping with the school youth soccer program.

“There are many times this community has been able to help our players and our athletes, so the times when we are able to help this community are very important to us. Not only that, but these opportunities are very beneficial to us as well. Our team bonds are not built strictly on the field during practice or game time”, said Mike Muehling, Head Football Coach and Athletic Academic Coordinator.

The men’s baseball team joined forces with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation by adopting a six-year-old boy battling cancer. The women’s softball team hosted a youth clinic for the Classie Lassie Girls Softball, where they helped teach younger athletes the fundamentals of the sport.

Muehling continues, “Being able to to experience different moments together where we are able to do acts of service help us to understand the impact we can have on those around us. We are fortunate because we are able to play, what I consider, the greatest team sport of all; so to be able to apply those lessons learned off of the field is a great experience for us.”

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