Over the summer, Redbird student-athletes have been taking time out of their schedules to volunteer and participate in community service activities including the Special Olympics, manned by the women’s volleyball team, and the cold water challenge, taken on by members and coaching staff of the women’s basketball team.
Most recently, head women’s basketball coach Barb Smith was challenged to the cold water challenge, which she accepted and participated in Tuesday. The challenge supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and is held at Duffy Bass Field.
Once a coach, athlete or administrator has been challenged, they have 48 hours to answer the challenge by being doused with ice-cold water. If a head coach does not answer the challenge, they pay $250 to the foundation. If they do, the challenging coach owes $50.
Assistant coaches who do not participate once challenged owe $100, and if they do, the challenger owes $25.
Students are also getting in on the spirit of giving. Those who do not answer the challenge owe five hours of community service, and if they accept, the challenger owes two hours.
Smith was challenged by Missouri head women’s basketball coach and former ISU head coach Robin Pingeton. Those who also stepped under the bucket were assistant coaches Erin Dickerson and Lisa Hayden, Director of Basketball Operations Annie Isler, Deputy Director of Athletics/Senior Women’s Administrator Leanna Bordner and senior guard Katy Winge.
After accepting their challenge, the women passed it forward onto Wichita State head coach Jody Adams and Northern Illinois head coach Kathi Bennett.
Another ISU team that has been participating in volunteer opportunities over the summer is the women’s volleyball team, which aided in the Bloomington Special Olympics.
Incoming freshman Frankie Taylor, Mariah Rayhons and Jaelyn Keene along with senior Emily Schneider and redshirt freshman Annchara Montgomery engaged with the Special Olympics Athletes and participated in games like hockey and soccer.
Montgomery, a first-time volunteer, was surprised at the magnitude of the event.
“I didn’t expect so many people to be there so it just made me feel like I as a part of something great,” Montgomery said. “It was a really nice experience.”
Schneider, a long-time Redbird volunteer, also enjoyed participating in the events.
“It was a great experience to interact with the Special Olympics athletes,” Schneider said. “It was rewarding to be a part of such an amazing experience.”
The Summer Games are an annual event held in Bloomington-Normal with over 4,000 athletes and 2,500 volunteers, including numerous members of the Illinois State community.