ACC Track And Field Student-Athlete Reach Out To Community

April 19, 2013

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Fifteen Atlantic Coast Conference student-athletes from eight schools took part in an ACC Community Connections outreach event Friday morning. The student-athletes, in town for the 2013 ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, met with third-grade students at Timber Drive Elementary School in nearly Garner, N.C.

"The Community Outreach at the ACC is a great opportunity to give back to the community and to get people excited about track and field, especially here at NC State," said Virginia's Abbey Karin, who earned a silver medal Thursday in the women's javelin throw. "This gave us a chance to reach out to the Raleigh community."

ACC student-athletes read from a book entitled "Exercise" by Liz Gogerly and Mike Gordon that stressed the importance of exercise and fitness. Classroom performance was also a point of emphasis.

"I really liked talking to the kids today," said Virginia Tech distance runner Taylor Crosson. "It was a great opportunity to show them what we do, not only with running, but also with academics and how that can help them later on in life." The ACC Community Connections Program, now in its third full year, takes place at all of the conference's Olympic sport championships. The program aims to provide local elementary students the chance to talk with ACC student-athletes and to learn about their sports. The ACC also makes a book donation to the library of each participating school.

"I think this is important, because the habits you learn now can follow you through life," said Boston College steeplechase runner Anthony Bellitti. "I know people say that they can just flip a switch in high school and start trying reallu hard then, but if you start forming good habits at a really young age, it can carry over all the way through college. I think it is important to teach the value of sports as well. Sports are terrific, not just in terms of keeping fit, but also in terms of learning the values of teamwork and camaraderie."

Live coverage of the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be available at http://theacc.co/OTFWatchLive on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. and on Saturday from 4 until 8 p.m. For more information on ACC Track & Field, visit http://theacc.co/OTFChamps.