In what has become a much-anticipated tradition at Carnegie Mellon University, on Sunday, April 3 more than 50 children from the Pittsburgh community came to campus to participate in the sixth annual Carnegie Mellon Athletics Field Day. The Field Day event was created in 2011 by then-football and track and field student-athlete Liam McGrath. A mathematics major, McGrath created Field Day after working with children in sports camps during his summers as an athlete.
“Our SAAC Field Day has developed into a great Carnegie Mellon tradition,” said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. “I believe that our student-athletes are the best role models that young children can have, and to nurture that relationship through sport and physical activity is truly special.”
Due to the cold weather, all events took place indoors this year, with events in Skibo and Wiegand gyms. Children had the opportunity to participate in mini-clinics in the areas of basketball, volleyball, track and field, football, soccer and physical fitness.
For the third consecutive year, Ben Neiman (Track and Field) and Rekha Schnepf (Cross Country) were the lead student-athlete organizers. “Rekha and I feel very fortunate we've been able to coordinate Field Day for the last three years as it is always a highlight of our academic years,” said Neiman. “It was great to see such a big turnout again this year despite the less-than-stellar weather we are accustomed to for Field Day. I think it really speaks to how much both the kids and student-athletes look forward to Field Day.”
Curtis Watro, also of Track and Field, spoke on the impact that volunteering for the event has on student-athletes. “I think the volunteers had as much fun as the kids did playing the games and interacting with each other. For student-athletes, it's so important to be involved in the community and in young people's lives because that influences them to see the rewards and the excitement behind playing sports.”