By Danene Woodford
Serving the community plays an important role for Camden County College’s Athletic Department. The college’s seven teams have the usual responsibilities of any sport teams, but being available to assist the college community is an added duty.
The student athletes have helped fellow students navigate the current construction on the Blackwood campus. They’ve helped families locate the spectator areas for at-home games. And the student athletes have also volunteered in a walk-a-thon held at the college’s track.
But there is a balance.
Concentrating on the sport and becoming better athletes is still the major priority.
Peter DiLorenzo, Camden County College athletic director, explains the balance of athlete and volunteer well.
“We ask a lot of our athletes in –season so to ask them to volunteer their time on a weekend or at night is a difficulty. Trust me, they would do it, but I have a hard time asking them since they are giving so much of their time to athletics,” DiLorenzo said.
Even with the student athlete’s willing to assist, choosing what to get involved in can be overwhelming.
The athletic department likes to keep it simple and assist its services with projects that have direct relationships with CCC. When an organization rents a space at the college, the athletic department offers its help by simply asking, “Do you need any help?”
If help is needed, the college can deliver it thanks to the volunteering student athletes. And whatever assistance is needed, the athletics department seems happy to help, whether it’s large or small.
Services can be setting up tables or cones, helping with directions, handing out water, monitoring events, or even offering support with their cheers.
At a county college that serves an active large community, the feeling that it is an obligation to serve your community and offer assistance to the taxpayers who help fund the school is strong and taken seriously.
But the assistance is not one-sided.
The student athletes and the athletic department also get benefits from assisting.
When asked what the community service was doing for the students, DiLorenzo said it “helps our athletes to see that they have a special gift and this gift should not be taken lightly. If we have the ability to use our gift of strength, stamina, agility, coordination, balance or anything associated with sports we can help someone coming on our campus. ”