TEMPE, Ariz.—The Arizona State track and field team spent this past Saturday giving back to the local community with the help of Operation Fix It.
Operation Fix It: Neighbors helping Neighbors is a Scottsdale program that teams volunteers and local businesses to provide labor and materials to help eligible residents maintain their properties.
More information on the program can be found at scottsdaleaz.gov/operationfixit
“It’s important that our team gets involved in community service,” Director of track and field Greg Kraft said. “I think one of the things that comes from President Crow on down is that you try to develop an affinity for your community, not just your university. This is a way for our student-athletes to look outside ASU proper and see that Tempe and Scottsdale area is more than just students and we have people that are in need of a helping hand.”
The Sun Devil squad was split into four groups, with representatives from each of the track and field events: sprints, mid-distance/distance, jumps, and throws included in order to give the members of the team time to interact and bond with teammates they don’t normally train with.
“It’s always interesting to watch athletes and see who is a natural leader and who jumps in and helps,” Kraft said. “Everybody did a good job of doing their part, helping make the best of it. Because of the way our team is set up with each event practicing throughout the day, we don’t really have an opportunity to have all our athletes blended together at once. We had a very large group out there this weekend and it makes it a lot more fun to see all those different personalities.”
The four groups went to houses in the Scottsdale area and helped out with a number of landscape projects that the qualified families were unable to do themselves, including digging trenches, laying down rocks and gravel, planting, olive picking, and taking down fencing.
“We were working on one house and the neighbors came over to thank us, and that was cool, because they knew their neighbor needed help, but they didn’t know how to help,” Kraft added. ”They thought it was neat that there is a program in the city that is set up for that and that we were able to participate. We got a lot out of it.”The ASU track and field team is scheduled to open the 2014 schedule on Friday, Jan. 17 in Flagstaff, Ariz.