New Injured Athletes Club Created by Eighth Grade Students
Eighth Graders, Angelo (A.J.) C. and Will V., spearheaded a new student club this past November focused on athletics. A.J.’s recent injury inspired the idea for this club. A.J. bruised his kneecap in a mid-season football game against Loyola Blakefield and was distraught that he would be missing the final few football games of his Calvert career. After speaking with some teachers about his initial idea, he decided to start the Injured Athletes Club with Will V.
At first, the club’s goal was to motivate injured athletes by building mental toughness through rehabilitation. In the weeks since the first meeting, the club has expanded to a broader topic of leadership in athletics, and how staying focused and positive is the key to success, not only in sports but life. Without question, the concept of being a successful athlete or teammate can be applied to academics and beyond.
“I think the club puts off a positive message and teaches us how to come back and rebound from any struggle we may face,” says co-leader Kendall S., a fellow Eighth Grade student who recently joined Will, A.J., and Annie O. as the club’s official leadership team.
To date, the club has welcomed several guest speakers who have presented to packed rooms of engaged students. Seventh Grade Dean, Craig Bennett, spoke about his multiple knee injuries and how he persevered through the highs and lows of Division III lacrosse at Franklin & Marshall. Kait Gentry, Learning and Support Coordinator, reflected on her lingering shoulder injury from field hockey at Rutgers, and how this injury has continued to impact her passion for running and triathlons. Most recently, Mr. John McLean, C.F.O. of Harbor Bank, spoke about resilience and determination as he adjusted to the responsibilities of being a Division I basketball student-athlete. His final message was clear – “We play sports because it is our passion, but can never be the only thing that is important to us. Remember your priorities.”
On Tuesday, January 16, the club welcomed a Calvert parent and former NFL player who recalled lessons learned from his professional career and reminded students that leaders are made through hard work and dedication. Leadership emerges in those who embrace being good teammates and followers first. Building a foundation of character is key to success.
Looking ahead into February, the club will attend the Middle School Leadership Summit at Garrison Forest School to present on the evolution of the club through this year and beyond.
“We hope to expand and have two Seventh Graders continue our club into next year” A.J. commented when thinking about the club’s plans for the future.