Volleyball and volunteering go hand-in-hand at MRU
Cougars women’s volleyball team give back to the community
Finding the time to eat and shower during those busy periods of school is hard enough, yet alone taking the time to volunteer.
Mount Royal University’s women’s volleyball team is making the time to help out in the community.
“My weeks consist of about four hours of class a day, with a two hours of practice, and an hour workout three to four times a week. During the season, I spend about 50 plus hours volunteering,” says team captain Jenna Smith.
The team and its coaching staff go above and beyond the Cougar volunteer requirements. Smith says she’s proud to help out, not matter how busy she is.
“Volunteer hours can add up pretty quickly. It’s all great work though and very much worth contributing back to our community and putting the Cougar name out there in an extremely positive way.”
Players host volleyball clinics, teach the sport in elementary schools and act as mentors with female youth.
“As a team we do the Catholic family services mentoring program. Every Tuesday night, we are paired up with a mentee for an hour. We get to know them and teach them how to work as a team to establish positive outlooks in school and how to live an overall healthy life.”
The players take the role model position seriously. Smith says she gets to hear the mentees stories first hand.
“We act as mentors and positive role models in the girls’ lives,” says Smith. “It humbles us to hear the struggles that young girls often face. As mentors, we have to learn to step outside of our comfort zones to reach out in order to better understand where they are in their lives to be able to make a positive impact.”
Smith has been a MRU volleyball player for four years. Each year, she sees the same sort of community involvement from the team. One of her favourite memories is the Bowling Between Friends event that the team participates in twice a year. During the event, the Cougars spend the day bowling with adults with mental and physical disabilities.
“It’s an absolute riot. It’s too fun getting to know such inspiring people while sharing their passion for sports. We exchange a ton of laughs and enjoy relaxing and playing with an incredible group of people.”
As a leader, Smith says making time in your schedule to help out can be difficult, but if you’re passionate you can take on the challenge.
“Regardless of what’s going on in your life or the stress you may experience, it’s about dedication. Doing what I love every day is something I’m grateful for.”
Roar with pride for MRU’s women’s volleyball players and staff at their home opener game at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10. To see the full team schedule visit mrucougars.com.