By Grace Vickers, Volunteer Assistant
The Santa Clara volleyball team has always had a hand in the Santa Clara community, and this spring has been no different. From the Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer to the St. Raymond School clinic to upcoming summer camps, the Broncos are a busy group.
This year marked the 5th annual Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer event, which took place on May 10. Volleyball had help from men's and women's basketball, women's soccer and women's golf the day of the event. The 5K walk, which laced through the Mission Campus, included over 300 participants and raised over $17,000 for cancer research! The last five years the Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer has raised over $107,000 with every penny raised going directly to helping find a cure at UCSF Pancreas Center.
"For me the highlight this year was having the Bronco Band kick off the walk this year," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "They added a lot of excitement and energy. Every walker gave us kudos for having them there."
Wallace also gave a huge thank you to Arlene Mariani for putting the walk together. "It's great to raise money for an important cause, as well as show off our beautiful campus to the community," said Wallace.
Next year's walk, the 6th Annual Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer, is Sat., May 11, 2013 and will again be hosted by the volleyball team on the Mission Campus with a 5K.
The tradition of the Walk is extremely important to Wallace and the volleyball team, as it gives them a great opportunity to get involved in the community while raising money for research and awareness of a disease that affects many people's lives.
The Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer was not the only community service that the volleyball team was involved in during the spring of 2013. In late May, the Bronco volleyball team put on a free volleyball skills clinic for St. Raymond School students. Every year the team donates clinics to schools in the community to spark an interest of volleyball and athletics in young girls.
"We had about 30 kids, ages 8 to 11, come in for the clinic. Our current players were the instructors and did a great job of teaching basic skills and making a connection with young volleyball players," said Wallace.
"The highlight of the day is always the looks on these young girls' faces as they walk into the Leavey Center. Also, they get the chance to play with current Division I volleyball players. It is very rewarding to see some of the girls accomplish skills that they haven't been able to before, for example serving the ball over the net overhand. The excitement they get from learning something new is great," added Wallace.
Bronco Volleyball is also hosting Summer Camps through the entire month of July. There are two All Skills camps, two Overnight camps, a Setters day camp, a Libero day camp, and a Setter/Hitter camp. Click here for specific dates and more information.
"It is a great way to learn about Santa Clara University and the basic skills of volleyball. All of our players coach the camps," said Wallace.
Overall, community involvement is very important to the Bronco volleyball team and its coaching staff. "For me personally, giving back to the community with what we can offer, such as giving clinics and teaching volleyball, is very important for the girls so that they can start learning how to be a part of their community," said Wallace.
Many of the Bronco players had similar opportunities growing up and Wallace enjoys giving his team a chance to give young, rising athletes a positive learning environment.