Earlier this year, the Baldwin School Athletic Association, comprised of elected student representatives per class and an elected senior president approached Athletic Director Deb Surgi and proposed hosting a spring spirit event highlighted by a boy/girl lacrosse doubleheader.
With the concept that the event would mirror homecoming in the fall, Surgi could sense the excitement and immediately shifted into action mode to help make things happen.
“When Ali Thaler and the athletic association proposed the doubleheader I was equally enthusiastic and we immediately shifted action mode,’ Surgi said. “The doubleheader affected the entire school as it was a White Out day in honor of our mascot the polar bear. Even more important the Bears and Fords also used their team spirit for service as was evidenced in the recent Haverford’s checking for cancer. It is gratifying when students create with an entrepreneurial spirit and execute a plan that builds community and serves others.’
Haverford School Athletic Director and boy’s lacrosse coach John Nostrant said, “Events like this are great and convenient. Last week we partnered with Agnes Irwin and Shipley in our Checking For Cancer event. I believe you are going to see more and more of these events like this. I am glad that Springside Chestnut Hill Academy coach Mike DelGrande was amenable. Many of these kids play club lacrosse together and today they are playing against each other. This is bigger than the game. It’s about relationships and community building.’
The athletic association is the governing student body for athletics in the upper school and works with all school constituents to organize homecoming, spirit events, fundraising, service events, school wide events and any event that they create such as the Lacrosse Doubleheader. The athletic association also has input into the policies that govern athletics at Baldwin.
Although the schedule was already complete, Surgi was able to make the necessary changes and host an Inter-Ac doubleheader featuring a girls contest against Penn Charter that would be followed by a boys’ game with neighboring Haverford School, the No. 1 ranked team in the country taking on Springside-Chestnut Hill.
“It was really exciting when we heard the event was going to happen,’ said Baldwin junior Hayden Ivey, a member of the Athletic Association who plays lacrosse. “We try to do service projects with Haverford and we just wanted to get the community together. We attend each other’s homecoming events so to be able to hold an event where we are all playing is unbelievable. We are so lucky.’
Senior Ali Thaler, president of the athletic association at Baldwin added “We really wanted to have a day in the spring to mirror homecoming in the fall. We thought it would be a great way to build community to have both teams play on the same day.’
With the sun shining down, the enthusiastic crowd was treated to a pair of competitive games before gathering for a BBQ to cap off the evening.
“I was really excited,’ said Thaler as she glanced over at the crowd. “It means so much to see our hard work pay off. Hayden’s mother, Tracey was so instrumental in helping with everything that takes place behind the scenes.’
Surgi added, “Tracey Ivey was a key organizer in bringing the Baldwin and Haverford families together for the dinner following the games, Tracey thought of every detail from the invitations, to the tables, dessert station, photo booth and menu. Tracey’s partnership with the Baldwin AA and Athletic Department made the event a success. This speaks to another important point about the importance of community and partnering with parents for the success of student athlete programs.’
“Today was great,’ said Hayden Ivey, who was elected president starting next year. “I have learned so much from Ali and I know that organization and passion are key for success.’