I am pleased to be writing again today for you all. I am especially glad because I get to take this opportunity to inform you on an aspect of the life of the student-athlete that you may not be aware of: community service!
While many people were lounging on the beach or spending quality time with their families over spring break, the Women’s Tennis team was lucky enough to get to stay in Gainesville for vacation to continue our regular season matches and practice. As a team, we decided that since we didn’t have any classes to go to, it would be a good opportunity to make a team trip over to Shands Hospital. Many UF students and grads, me included, have probably volunteered in some way, shape, or form, but volunteering as a group or a team, to me, is much more gratifying than doing it on your own. Before our visit to Shands, my teammates and I believed we were really close, but this experience has brought us even closer together.
The visit was really fun. My teammates and I love to do arts and crafts, so it was only fitting that we got to help some of the kids in the hospital do “syringe art.” Syringe art is as you guessed it using syringes to splatter paint onto canvases. It seems silly, but the designs that the syringes create are pretty cool looking. There was one kid who actually used his syringe as a paint brush and drew a Gator head for us! I was very impressed.
It was such a beautiful thing to see that the children still have a sense of humor through it all. The opportunity to let them be self-expressive and creative was really what made the visit worthwhile for me. I witnessed something that was truly inspirational. Not only from the kids, but the actions of my teammates made an impression on me as well. Sofie, a fellow sophomore, has a knack for playing with little kids. When she interacts with them, you can tell by their expressions that they adore her.
Hopefully, we will be able to go over to Shands again soon. Sometimes hospitals can be perceived negatively, but I can attest that the children are absolutely radiant!
Till next time,