Sports and Study Abroad

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Gillian Scherz and Brittani DiMare

Colgate student athletes are not typically known to study abroad, ineligible due to constraints from their season and practice schedules. Opportunities are aris­ing, however, and student athletes are getting the chance to take part in the same cross-cultural experiences previ­ously unavailable to them. For one team in particular, this possibility is becoming more of a reality.

The women’s field hockey team is slowly but surely paving the way for Colgate athletes to go abroad. The team is currently in the process of applying for permis­sion to take a trip in order to compete against experi­enced opponents throughout Europe. If the trip is ap­proved, the team hopes to travel to Holland, Germany and Belgium in May of 2012.

The experience is one that Head Coach Cathy Foto has previously taken with teams in both 2004 and 2008.

“The trip is a combination of athletic and cultural experiences, and it is a wonderful educational experi­ence,” Coach Foto said.

According to Coach Foto, there are no varsity inter­collegiate university teams in Europe, so the Raiders would be going up against club teams. The club system is very extensive in Europe, and Holland in particu­lar has won world and Olympic cup championships in field hockey.

“We[‘ll] play teams that are similar to our level and slightly above,” Coach Foto said.

In order to have the trip approved, Coach Foto sub­mits the idea to the administrative staff, and once they have specific travel information and an outlined sched­ule, other offices on campus review it. The team members are also encouraged to discuss the trip with their families and have it approved by them, as well, because the fi­nancing for the trip depends on each individual, which can be a disadvantage for some. The team does plan to do fundraisers, however, to help support the cost.

Coach Foto is excited for the trip and the opportunities it presents for the athletes.

“Having traveled with two of my other teams I can easily say that this is a tremendous experience for the student athletes,” Coach Foto said. “Traveling with your teammates and representing Colgate and the United States is a privilege. When ever I see the students who went on the previous trips they always talk about how meaningful the experience was and how much it meant to them to share the adventure with their team. I am looking forward to sharing the adventure with my team as much as they are.”