Men's Soccer Supports Down Syndrome Awareness

 Last Friday night, Colgate Men’s Soccer hosted their annual Down Syndrome Awareness game against Oregon State. This game benefited Pathfinder Village, a residence for individuals with Down Syndrome and other developmental disorders, located in Edmeston, New York. This community provides the residents with the chance to live, work, study, and compete on different sports teams. During halftime of the men’s game, the Colgate community got the chance to watch these individuals compete in a soccer game. Various Colgate women’s sports teams joined the competition and worked alongside these amazing athletes to both score and defend goals. As somebody who was able to watch this game, I can definitely say it was an incredible event to watch and I am very happy I could be a part of it.

            Men’s soccer senior, Garrett Esper, was instrumental in organizing this amazing event. He thought of the idea and began it last season; however, this year’s game was far more successful. When asked why he chose this particular cause, Garrett responded, “My younger sister Mia has Down Syndrome and has been my inspiration for starting up all of our spring soccer clinics and connections with Pathfinder, including the annual Awareness Game.” Garrett, along with other members of his team and the school, sold over 300 t-shirts with the blue and yellow logo and the words #dsrocks on them, throughout the week on campus. More shirts were sold at the game as well, and numerous gifts and donations were contributed to the program from local businesses around Hamilton.

            When asked about the future of this game, Garrett says he “hopes that it can continue to build and expand as an event and that my legacy can live on through the younger players on the team who understand the importance of the event and the incredible benefit that people can receive from it, whether it be the Pathfinder Residents to the Colgate athletes and even the surrounding community.” This event is meant to spread awareness for Down Syndrome and emphasize the incredible capabilities and talents of those who have it, which this game successfully achieved. It is a powerful event and an important cause to support, so if you did not get the chance to witness it this year, you definitely do not want to miss next year’s game!!

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