By Joseph Varela
A new organization is making strides in the sports community through an emphasis on volunteer work and local engagement.
Sport Management Student Association is a student-run organization focused on community outreach through the use of sports, and provides students with opportunities to tour professional sports venues throughout Pittsburgh. Through volunteer work, students are able to strengthen their resume and leave a lasting impact.
Although the group is new, SMSA has already began to assist the area by volunteering during a Punt, Pass and Kick competition for elementary-aged children in Harrison County.
“Sport is a unifier,” said Philip Fetty, assistant professor of sport management. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, how much money you make or anything like that. So, there’s always the opportunity, as long as you’re involved in sports, to reach so many different people.”
Although the sport management major began in 2012, Fetty explained that it quickly grew to become AB’s fifth most popular major. Fetty saw this accelerated growth as an opportunity to apply what students learned in the classroom to gain real-world experience and serve their community.
Shea Roblin, the organization’s president, is a dual-major in sport management and business administration, and plays on the women’s lacrosse team. Fetty approached Roblin after deciding she would be a good fit for the organization’s goals.
“My advisor asked me if I thought it would be a good idea,” Roblin said. “And I wanted to be able to connect with the community of Philippi more, through the use of sports.”
The importance of volunteering and being involved in the community was an aspect emphasized by Fetty, which he argued creates the foundation for successful students’ futures.
“Experience is everything,” Fetty said. “You can read every textbook, every journal…But the idea of getting experience in sports is huge. You can’t put textbooks on a resume.”
Roblin has high hopes for this year and the future of this organization.
“We want to continue to be involved both on and off campus,” Roblin said. “And ultimately reach out and connect more with Barbour County to bridge the gap between Alderson Broaddus and the community.”
SMSA currently possesses a total of 11 members since its inception this semester. The organization has no membership fees this year and encourages any student with an interest to join.