Bridgeport, Conn. - The University of Bridgeport softball team partnered with Clermont Elementary School and PFX Athletics during their 2018 Spring Break trip in Florida where they were able to work with underprivileged youth. The Purple Knights were able to teach the students the benefits of staying in school and working hard to get good grades. Although a lot of their time with Mrs. Hernandez's third grade class was about doing well in school, they were able to have a little fun and show off their dance moves as well.
PFX Athletics is a non-profit organization that is mainly focused on providing women the opportunity to play and succeed in the sport of softball. The foundation sets up different softball tournaments, clinics and many community service engagements throughout the year. The legendary Dr. Dot Richardson is the founder of PFX Athletics. Richardson was 6 years old when she dreamt of representing the USA in the Olympics, she joined a local group of kids and played baseball in the nearby park. In 1996 Richardson had the chance to live her dream and represented the USA in the first ever Olympic softball games. Feeling grateful for all she was able to accomplish, Richardson founded PFX Athletics to help other women follow and pursue their dreams.
Through PFX Athletics they run an "Adopt-A-Team", where college teams are paired up with a school in Lake County school district in Florida. After hearing about this program three years ago UB's head softball coach Dawn Stearns hopped at the opportunity to get her team involved and plans to continue to do so for years to come. Stearns said, "This is a great way for my kids to give back and help the younger kids see what hard work and dedication can do for you as you go through school". Stearns' team was matched up with Mrs. Hernandez's third grade class from Clermont Elementary School.
Upon their arrival to Clermont Elementary, the Purple Knights went through and introduced themselves to the class. They told the class what grade they were in, where they are from and what position they played on the field. They took questions from the class and talked about what it means to be a college athlete. UB also talked to the class about what it means to do well in school and how it can directly affect your future. Coach Stearns reflected, "It was a wonderful day filled with song, dance, and lots of laughs". Also during the tournament PFX Athletics paired teams with a bat girls from Clermont Little League. These bat girls were able to hang with the college athletes in the dugout and help with grabbing lose balls and bats left on the field.
Though this isn't the first time UB's softball team has done community service with PFX Athletics, Coach Stearns says it will not be the last. The Purple Knights' softball team spends every spring break in Florida with PFX Athletics and plans to continue with their 'Adopt-A-Team' program.