As the season of giving approaches, the Synchronized Swimming program already has a head start on the holiday spirit. Anyone close to the team knows that community service has long been a pillar of their program. The coaching staff, under Holly Vargo-Brown and Suzanna Hyatt, have set an expectation that their student-athletes dedicate 24 hours each to community service per semester. This expectation is met with both enthusiasm and initiative from the student-athletes as they’ve gotten an incredible start on that mission already this year.
Besides the annual Sync Cancer event that took place in October and raised a significant amount for cancer research, the team has also been busy dedicating their weekends to helping the local Columbus community. The team’s community service has included reading to children at the Stiles Elementary School with the 2nd and 7 Foundation, volunteering with the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night walk for cancer research, and spending Saturday mornings beautifying multiple local park grounds. The team continues to leave their mark on the greater Columbus community.
Coach Vargo-Brown on the importance of volunteering: “We started our ‘Give Back a Day’ initiative seven years ago as a way to connect the dots of ‘paying back’ while ‘paying forward’. We are given so much through our participation with Ohio State athletics. Because of that, it is important to our coaching staff to continually find ways to cultivate a strong sense of gratefulness within our program.”
The national champions are not done yet. As the team enters their rigorous training season in preparation for the first home meet on January 12, they will still reserve time outside of the pool for making an impact. Student-athletes will assemble and deliver meals to support the Salvation Army with their Holiday Christmas Cheer initiative and continue their weekly commitment with the second and seven foundation to read in elementary schools in the Central Ohio area.
“We are fortunate to be able to support the community that contributes so much to our success in and out of the pool,” junior Kaitlyn Carboun said.