January 8, 2010

SHU Women's Lacrosse Hosts Clinic for Girls' Challange Program in Norwalk

Jan. 8, 2010

The Sacred Heart women's lacrosse team welcomed students in the Girls' Challenge program at the Family & Children's Agency (FCA) of Norwalk to the William H. Pitt Center last month for a special clinic teaching and promoting the game of lacrosse. The two-time Northeast Conference champion Pioneers have developed a relationship with the students in the program that will continue through the 2010 season. Girls' Challenge is an FCA program designed to provide opportunities and support to help middle school girls achieve their full potential for leadership and success.

The project with Girls' Challenge grew out of the Pioneers' ongoing volunteer efforts and was brought together by junior Nicole Messina (Smithtown, NY). "This year we wanted to become directly involved in working with a group and volunteer more than just the money we typically raise by participating in a cancer walk," stated Messina. "I contacted FCA and we came up with the amazing idea of a college/lacrosse clinic for their Girls' Challenge program."

The Girls' Challenge participants visited the Sacred Heart campus in early December for a basic lacrosse skills clinic that focused on throwing, catching and picking up ground balls. The Pioneers also led a "chalk talk" session to cover some basic game rules and strategies in the game of lacrosse. The team also played a scrimmage with the SHU assistant coaches providing commentary for the students. Lindsay Carlucci, a Girls' Challenge participant, said that she really enjoyed the lacrosse exercises and noted, "I had a great time, and I learned how to play lacrosse."

As part of their visit, the Girls' Challenge group toured the Sacred Heart campus, starting with the William H. Pitt Center and including the main classroom building, the new chapel, a freshman girl's dorm and the cafeteria. At the end of day, the students in the program made plans to keep in touch with Pioneers and attend a game this spring. Girls' Challenge participant Daje Bell summarized the visit by saying, "It was fun. I had a good time talking to some of the girls and eating pizza. The campus was really nice, too. I can't wait to see one of games in the spring. They were all really nice."

"We really wanted to make a difference in just one life - and I think we did," commented Messing. "Some of the girls were `naturals' at lacrosse and even said that one day they would like to play lacrosse at Sacred Heart!" She added, "I hope that we can continue working with the Girls' Challenge group throughout the next few years, because the players had just as much fun as the girls did."

Family & Children's Agency (FCA) is a non-profit human service organization meeting the needs of more than 10,000 individuals - including children, adults and families - throughout Fairfield County. Skilled professionals serve clients in seven impact areas: youth development, family strengthening, foster care, adoption, behavioral health, homeless services, and services for seniors. For every dollar donated to FCA, 89 cents goes directly to help clients in these program areas. For more information on FCA programs and services, visit www.familyandchildrensagency.org or call Family & Children's Agency at 203-855-8765.