March 26, 2012
Even during their vacation time, many Clemson student-athletes take the opportunity to serve others. This past week, March 19-23, was spring break at Clemson University, and while most students spent their time on a beach with their friends, a group of student-athletes participated in an annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) mission trip.
This year’s trip was to the island of Eluethra in the Bahamas. Daniel Andrews (football), Rocky Raybon, Kristen Redmond and Kerry McLaughlin (women’s swimming and diving) and Karis Watson (volleyball) were members of a mission team that did various types of work in Eluethra. The FCA trips are opportunities for students to get out of their comfort zones while serving people in third-world countries.
Prior to their departure, the group collected old shoes, clothes and toys to give to the children in the village. Once in Eluethra, the group spent each day serving the community through various building projects, as well as teaching sports, English and the gospel. The student-athletes returned home safely, with many great experiences and stories to share.
Two other student-athletes, Brittany Burns (rowing) and Morgan Hert (women’s soccer), spent three weeks of their summer serving in a similar way. They participated in Coach For College, a program run by the ACC that gives student-athletes an opportunity to travel to Vietnam to teach underprivileged middle school students. The athletes educate the students in English, morality, physics and biology and coach them in basketball, soccer, volleyball and tennis.
In addition to teaching and coaching the Vietnamese students, the ACC student-athletes learn how to adapt to the living conditions that are so different from what we know in the United States. Both Clemson student-athletes enjoyed their time in Vietnam and Burns will be returning this summer as a camp director.
Burns said, “It was a life-changing experience and I am really looking forward to returning to the students I met last summer. Although I may have impacted their lives greatly, the impact these children had on my life is outstanding, life changing and beyond anything I could have ever imagined.”
Burns will be in charge of organizing and preparing her own team of student-athletes from different ACC schools for their time in Vietnam.
Visit each program’s website to learn more about Clemson FCA or Coach For College.
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