Boston University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been named the first College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Community Service Team. The Terriers earned the recognition for their contribution to Swim Across America’s Rhode Island Open Swim as well as their work with the Greater Boston Food Bank.
CSCAA Executive Director Joel Shinofield cited BU as an example of the impact teams make beyond the pool and their own campuses. “Our coaches, swimmers and divers engage in all manner of meaningful community service and fundraising during the course of the year, they are ambassadors for our sport and their institutions.”
BU swimmers and divers contributed 45 hours of time and raised $6,935 for Perini Quality of Life Clinic in support of survivors of childhood cancer. In total, college swimming and diving teams helped raise nearly half of the $207,052 collected. Additionally, the teams worked with the Greater Boston Food Bank to organize and ship food across the Eastern Massachusetts area. So far this season, the team has devoted 122 hours to the project.
Terrier Head Coach Bill Smyth loved seeing his team come together to support a cause beyond swimming and diving. “Cancer affects everybody in some way. Our team watched Bailey O’Brien overcome a stage-4 diagnosis while a member of the team at BU, and is thriving today.”
Individually, BU swimmer Tanner Cridland (Lake Forest, California / Mission Viejo Nadadores) was the top fundraiser among all swimmers. The ECAC finalist in the 400 IM raised $4,910 towards cancer research. Cridland described the event as an amazing experience. “Seeing different college teams, that might be rivals on any other day, come together to raise money for the fight against cancer was really inspiring.”
SAA Event Director Kitty Tetreault also cited BU’s Stephanie Nasson (Wrentham, Massachusetts / Adirondack Aquatic Club). “Steph has been wonderful. She’s been participating in our events for a number of years, starting as an age group swimmer then as a high school swimmer and now as a collegiate swimmer.” Tetreault added that the Terriers, “did an outstanding job and have been a great asset to our events and organization.”
Shinofield commended the efforts of the Terriers. “This is a great example of the education that takes place through athletics, in this case leveraging the power of the team to serve others and help solve critical issues. “
Cridland echoed Shinofield’s belief that the effect of athletics goes well beyond the pool. “Everyone there was racing for a cause, rather than for their university, which made the race that much more special.” That was an ethos, Cridland feels, is an important part of his BU experience.
“From day one, every person on the team has an interest in you succeeding and are willing to do anything to help out a fellow teammate whether that’s at a meet or for this event.”
The CSCAA Community Service Recognition Program recognizes collegiate swimmers and teams that give back to their community. Minimum requirements and a list of award-winners can be found at www.cscaa.org/service/.
About Swim Across America:
Swim Across America, Inc. (SAA) is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.
About the CSCAA:
Founded in 1922, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) – the oldest organization of college coaches in America -is a professional organization of college swimming and diving coaches dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming & diving at the collegiate level.