Last Monday, Andover Girls Lacrosse participated in a nationwide fundraiser event called The Last Shift Virtual 5K Challenge. Founded by three college student-athletes, the campaign was created with the goal of rallying student-athletes around the country to raise funds for the HEADstrong Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving lives affected by cancer. Andover ended up donating 364 dollars to the campaign.
The event provided the team with a chance to experience what practice would have been like had the season continued, according to Co-Captain Olivia Nolan ’20.
Nolan said, “When we’re on campus, we usually do some kind of running or conditioning on Mondays. It was kind of cool that this was on a Monday because it sort of simulated what we would actually be doing on that day if we had a regular practice. So it was just more of a way to connect and feel like you’re still a part of the team even though we can’t be together on campus.”
According to Jessica Scott ’20 and Emily Smith ’22, donating to the campaign and participating in the virtual five-kilometer race gave the team a chance to show their solidarity with the doctors, nurses, and cancer patients.
“Especially during this time with Covid-19 and everything when a lot of nurses and doctors are having to go help patients with the coronavirus, the virtual 5K was a way of letting the cancer patients know that there are still people who are thinking of them,” said Scott.
“I decided to do it because it was a way to stay motivated during quarantine and give to charity. The money is donated to cancer research, and both my grandmother and cousin fought cancer, so I didn’t even think about not participating,” wrote Smith in an email to The Phillipian.
The team is grateful for the opportunity it had to participate in such an important event, according to Smith.
“I think it helped the team get together despite not being able to be together. It allowed both the JV and Varsity to come [together] while we are home. It also was just a way to give back during such a hard time for everyone. I think it allowed everything to stay in perspective that other people have it worse. In addition, it was just very inspiring to have so many people run around the country for a good cause, and not allow the virus to stop them,” wrote Smith.
According to Nolan and Scott, the team is working hard to come up with other ways of ensuring that everyone remains connected in the coming weeks and months.
Nolan said, “As a group, the Seniors have been in constant communication with the coaches to try to come up with ideas to keep the returners from last year and everyone involved with Girls Lacrosse [connected]. We’ve come up with challenges like sending a picture of yourself working out or having fun with your family.”
Scott added, “We recently downloaded this app all together that tracks our runs as a team. So we’ve all been going on one-mile or three-mile runs pretty much every day. And we’ve also been sending each other selfies, weather reports, and updates. We also have a buddy system where we’re assigned to groups where we just check-in and talk. It’s definitely hard to stay connected as we would otherwise but we’re making it work with technology.”