Making Strides Cancer Reflections: Coe-Brown coach on team’s unity around event

  • —Courtesy

  • —Courtesy

For the Monitor
Published: 10/7/2022 12:50:45 PM

Almost 20 years ago former girls’ volleyball coach Matthew Skidds, now assistant headmaster at Coe Brown Northwood Academy, approached me about getting our girls’ sports teams involved in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. I thought it was a terrific idea. Since then, it has become a tradition for the girls’ soccer program here at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy to participate in this wonderful cause.

The last two years, COVID-19 interrupted our participation in the event but we are thrilled to be back at it this year. The girls’ soccer program has raised in excess of $60,000 over the years, but more importantly, we have been able to actively support our players, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and families who have been impacted by breast cancer. It is nearly impossible to find someone who has not been affected by breast cancer.

In the last 18 years, we have had players tragically lose family members to breast cancer. We have lost members of our soccer family and that sting never goes away for the players and families impacted by that loss. All we can do is keep fighting to prevent the next family in our program from losing a loved one.

We have also had player families and faculty members inspire us with their success in their battle over breast cancer! We have had the opportunity to see them persevere, excel, and experience all that their futures were meant to be. We have smiled, laughed, cried, danced and sung, although not always very well, as part of the event and it helps us convey a larger message about life, community, and resiliency to our young women.

As an educator and a coach, the topics we teach or sports we coach are secondary to the personal development and growth of our students. We strive to help them become better people. The opportunity to be involved in this cause allows us to help our student athletes give back to the community at large and support the community by actively getting engaged. I can’t tell you how impressed and proud I am.

On a personal level, as a husband, father, teacher and coach, I think it is vital that we all take an active role in a cause bigger than ourselves because it allows us to find a place inside of ourselves that we don’t always get a chance to connect with. The message I try to convey to the members of our program and team is to be the best version of yourself each day.

Find something inside yourself that you can be proud of that helps others around you succeed. Teamwork is not about our individual success as one member of the team, but rather the collective success of the entire group. That’s what teamwork is all about. This cause is about helping others succeed.

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