Panther field hockey alums volunteer in India
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College field hockey coaching staff along with four alumnae of the program are currently participating in a goodwill overseas trip to India.
The field hockey program is working closely with the U.S. State Department, the Indian Consulate and the India-based anti-trafficking nonprofit Shakti Vahini on this project.
Head Coach Katharine DeLorenzo, assistant coaches Rachel Palumbo and Lauren Schweppe, program alumni Lauren Greer, Alyssa DiMaio, Anna Kenyon and Audrey Quirk have made the trip to the city of Ranchi in Jharkhand, India.
There, they will coach a weeklong field hockey residential program for 100 teens, age 14 to 17. The trip takes place from Nov. 24 through Dec. 2.
DeLorenzo said the coaches are honored to lead the State Department sports envoy trip as part of the larger East India Field Hockey Project.
“We aim to build relationships with each young woman through the hockey program and harness the energy created in that environment, using it toward personal development, leadership and empowerment sessions we have planned during our off-field seminars and social time,” DeLorenzo said. “We hope to bring ‘dreams in their hearts’ to each and every one involved.”
The participants will come from tribal regions of Jharkhand, where according to a Middlebury College press release they are at high risk for human trafficking and child marriage.
According to the press release, the East India Field Hockey Project’s objective is to help young women gain self-worth and self-confidence, leadership skills and an expanded vision for themselves and their future. Program officials also hope each of the young people involved will become equipped to bring their expanded vision and new skills back to their communities.
The press release describes field hockey, which is India’s national sport, as a unifying force that connects communities. It also serves to inspire these young women, as they see the members of the Indian Women’s National Field Hockey Team as role models. The Panther representatives hope to harness the connectivity that field hockey provides to make this camp a worthwhile experience with long-lasting effects on the lives of the young women participating.