Will Power Sport Awareness Day a Huge Success
The first annual Will Power Sport Awareness Day provided a full program of quality speakers, competition and entertainment. The event was named for Will Archibald, an ’04 graduate of Endicott College who suffered a spinal cord injury. For Endicott students, session speakers shared their life and work in disability sport. “The speakers had a lot to say and they drew you into their experiences,” said Brett Longobucco, a junior Physical Education student. The morning speakers highlighted local exercise and sport opportunities for persons with disabilities and Dan Cummings, a young man with a spinal cord injury (SCI) who founded a therapeutic exercise program called Journey Forward, concluded the morning session educating audience members about the need to maximize exercise for all persons. The afternoon sessions were highlighted by Cailin Currie, an elite international swimmer, and Victoria Arlen, a Paralympic Gold Medalist. The event organizer, Dr. Dina Gentile, could not have been more pleased with the day’s activities. “Sport Awareness Day exceeded my expectations on a number of levels. The speakers were highly engaging, our students managed the day from start to finish with professionalism, and the support by students at the events was inspirational. The energy of the day can fuel so many more new ideas to raise the awareness of sport for all – well done EC!”
The speaker sessions gave way to wheelchair basketball activities in the evening. The New England Blazers of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association took on all competitors from Endicott College. Faculty, students and staff challenged the Blazers for ten minutes quarters but none were victorious. Despite the overwhelming ease with which the Blazers dispatched the competition, the exposure to wheelchair basketball was a successful cap to Will Power Sport Awareness Day. Julie Manning, a junior studying Exercise Science, said “the speakers were very impressive and the [wheelchair basketball] games had a great environment. The entire day was enthusiastic and energetic.” Paul Cowen, the day's final speaker, captained the Blazers wheelchair basketball team and coordinated the evening competition.
Will Archibald passed away this year and the event, in addition to promoting inclusive sport, served a fundraiser for a scholarship named in his memory. Over $4,000 was raised toward the $10,000 scholarship goal for this academic year. From student training (the event was planned and run by Sport Management students) to student awareness, the Will Power Sport Awareness Day was a special event on Endicott’s campus. Julie Manning summed it up best, “an overall great day!”