DOVER, Del. – The Wesley College Softball team spent a week in Florida for Spring Break, taking part in The Spring Games with contests against several NCAA Division III competitors. The Wolverines did a lot of growing as softball players, but the most important growth happened as human beings.
The softball team made a visit to the Florida Hospital for Children, breaking up into several different groups and spending time with children who were cooped up in the hospital. Head Coach Juli Greep felt that making an impact in the community, even one far away from home, was important.
"It's been our mission all year to focus on giving time and support to children with illnesses and less-fortunate situations," said Coach Greep. "Playing softball is easy. There's people who want to do the things that we do that don't have that opportunity. Our visit today really put that into perspective for our student-athletes and our coaches."
Nina Marcano, a junior on the team, saw the experience as eye-opening, "It put a lot of things in perspective for me. We're out there thinking about how hot it is to be playing in Florida and the next minute we're here and we see these kids – it makes you appreciate your health, your abilities, everything."
The Wolverines split into different groups visiting several different floors of the hospital, visiting with hospitalized children and their families and doing their best to put smiles on the faces of those less fortunate.
"All the children we visited and their families were appreciative and excited," said Marcano. "You could see their change in attitude when they had visitors."
Coach Greep agreed, noting how the visits had a positive effect on everyone involved, "One of the moms of the children we visited went to tears because she hadn't seen her child smile in so long. To be able to bring something so simple to a family means the most"
Wesley played eight games in Florida, but Greep said that the most important experience was their visit to the Florida Hospital for Children, "It's not about the wins and the losses. It's about who these student-athletes become as people."
Marcano said the experience had an effect on her and her team, "The fact that these kids and their families were making the most of their situations – it's given me a different outlook on these softball games and life in general."