CLEVELAND– The Baldwin Wallace University men's lacrosse team participated in the Thru the Zoo Fun Run put on by Empower Sports on Saturday, September 25 at the Cleveland Metroparks Fun Run.
Empower Sports and the men's lacrosse team are no strangers. The groups have been working together for the past two years with Program Director and men's lacrosse alumni, Jakob Jackson '18.
Empower Sports is a local Cleveland nonprofit organization that is committed to providing sports and exercise programs for children and adults with various physical and cognitive disabilities and additional programs for typically developing kids.
"One of our main goals at Empower Sports it to promote social well-being along with the physical well-being," Jackson said. "We want our athletes to have the chance to interact with their typically developing peers and make friendships through our program with other participants and volunteers. Being able to do that with the BW program for our athletes has been exciting to see and is something we look forward to whenever possible. We have an athlete who goes to the BW games regularly, and have had BW players come to our programs and spend time with our athletes, it is a great relationship."
Jackson began at Empower in May of 2017 as a summer intern. Upon his graduated in June of 2018 ,with a degree in sport management, he had a full-time position there as a Volunteer Coordinator and Program Manager. He has since been promoted to Program Director.
"While at BW I interned with Empower Sports and loved the programs and the impact it had on local people with disabilities in the Cleveland area," said Jackson. "After I graduated, I got a job with Empower Sports and it was important to keep the BW connection, especially with the lacrosse team."
The men's lacrosse team has participated in events, such as the Fun Run and have also put on clinics for the athletes of Empower Sports. This has given the athletes a chance to participate in and learn about a new and growing sport.
"Several athletes in our programs had heard of lacrosse or had siblings play, but never had the opportunity to play themselves, so the clinics we have had held with BW have been an excellent introduction to the game," Jackson said.