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Wofford sports volunteer with Carolina Miracle League

Mark Olenki
Members of the Wofford Lacrosse team visit Carolina Miracle League. The members played a game of baseball with the League.

Wofford College sports teams are given the opportunity each year as a part of the student-athlete committee (SAC) to supervise kids for the Carolina Miracle League. The Carolina Miracle League is a local baseball team in Boiling Springs, South Carolina, that gives children and teenagers with physical and mental challenges a chance to be on a sports team all together.

Wofford tennis team, track team, basketball team, women’s lacrosse team and many others have had the opportunity to visit in the past.

Most recently, the Wofford Women’s Lacrosse team visited in late September. The team has visited a number of times over the years, resulting in relationships built between the players and the kids. Players are paired with buddies and are responsible for ensuring their safety and cheering them on with their parents when playing baseball.

“This is my third year doing Miracle League and, whenever we have it scheduled, it’s the best part of my week, it is so much fun and rewarding,” said Shadan Bankston ‘24.

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As a senior, Bankston has been able to be paired with the same buddy, Lala, for two years now. By becoming close with team members, the lacrosse team has also gotten to know the executive director of Miracle League, Pam Dean.

“(Dean) said that this is the thing most kids look forward to,” Bankston said.

The league has been running for 16 years now, allowing children and teenagers to participate in organized sports. With the help of Wofford students, the children and teenagers get to experience baseball from a different perspective.

“Being a part of something like that just makes you realize how lucky you are,” said Lacrosse Player Addison Witkowski ‘24.

This year was Witkowsi’s first time with the Carolina Miracle League team, and it impacted the way she plays her own sport. Addison explained that it made her feel more grateful to get to run and be able to play the sport she loves.

The Carolina Miracle League offers children and teenagers of all types a chance that many people with special needs do not get, but it also impacts the community by allowing these experiences to be had by everyone.

One of the boys on the team told Addison, “My dream is to walk again and play for the Clemson Tigers.”

Wofford SAC has allowed many athletic teams to participate in recent years and plans on keeping up with the tradition for years to come. The opportunity is out to all sporting teams on campus and is a good representation of Wofford’s volunteer work.

“It was awesome to see that they have opportunities like that to grow and realize how capable they are,” said Witkowski.

The students are grateful for the opportunity to share their love of sports with the community.

The program has constructed a fully accommodating baseball field that provides grounds where kids in wheelchairs or kids relying on helpful walking devices can move with no fear of getting injured. This allows the kids to achieve their dream of playing baseball like everyone else.

Carolina Miracle League, along with Wofford athletic teams, continue to make lasting impacts on the lives of these young children by giving them a chance to play a fun sport and make friends in the process.

The Wofford women’s lacrosse team has a chance to return later this year and join the experience of changing one kid’s life at a time.

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Maddie Ayers
Maddie Ayers, Staff Writer
Psychology Major from Cornelius, NC
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