They play football. And basketball. They are volleyball players, wrestlers, and runners.
They work on fields and courts and diamonds and mats.
They are student-athletes at Rutgers.
But, they are also sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, grandchildren and cousins. And as the semester ends, most will be heading home for break. Home until the spring semester starts on January 17.
But where is home for those over 600 athletes who wear the scarlet?
Rutgers Athletics put out a pretty cool interactive map to show just that. If you click on an “R”, you’ll find out just who that athlete is and where they are from. Oh, and not these maps, the one on the link.
Click that R on the Washington-Canada border and you’ll find field hockey player Sofia Walia from Surry, BC. The R in southeast Asia? That’s Hong Kong’s Carrie-Ann Lee of women’s golf. And if you click on the southern most R in Australia, you’ll find football punter Tim Gleeson.
We may talk about keeping Jersey kids home, but the truth is Rutgers, as well as most schools, have students from all over the world. Athletics just reinforces that point. Although, for obvious reasons, most RU student-athletes are from “home” and the surrounding area. And in the Garden State, it ranges from Kittatinny High’s Sarah Brook (rowing) in the north to Cape May’s Vance Matthews (football) down south.
And taking it a step further, most RU athletes tend to be from the eastern US, though not all.
As we celebrate the holidays, think of those athletes who have the opportunity to finally head home for some home cooking....and someone else doing their laundry.
While it’s great to be “home for the holidays”, not everyone has that luxury. And they aren’t just athletes who may be competing. Let’s also think about those people who have less, those less fortunate than us. Let’s think about our military, wherever they are serving, who aren’t with their families. Let’s think about first responders who are on duty or on call, so that the rest of us can enjoy the holidays with our families.