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Four Student-Athletes Travel to Vietnam

May 24, 2011

Chestnut Hill, MA- Four Boston College student-athletes will be traveling to Vietnam to run a six-week program called Coach for College. The student-athletes will be teaching a variety of subjects, using athletics as a means of educating.

Marlotte van den Bergh (field hockey), Kyle McCartan (golf), Emily Charnowski (rowing) and Hanna Mulvoy will be going to Ho Chi Min to teach middle school aged children and help them develop excitement for different subjects, such as science and leadership, utilizing sports as a means to applied learning. The sports-learning camps also emphasize how to access and benefit from higher education.

"Many programs have students go teach English or math in other countries but what is special about Coach for College is that we, as student-athletes, can not only teach the children with what we have learned in the classroom but also in our sports," said Outgoing SAAC President van den Bergh. "The combination of classroom and sports will keep the kids enthusiastic and will help them understand the importance of what we teach them since it all ties back into their activities at the camp."

Incoming SAAC President, Kyle McCartan echoed van den Bergh's sentiments, adding, "Coach for college gives me a chance to use my athletic ability to change the lives of many others in the world. I received access to higher education through sports and this program gives me a chance to give others a similar opportunity."

Coach for College was started by former Duke women's tennis player, Parker Goyer in 2007. The program looks to support middle school aged students in rural communities around the world to motivate them to take advantage of higher educational opportunities. Coach for College focuses on the ability of sports to transcend barriers and different lifestyles and creating a safe environment for children to express themselves and build self confidence.

"The program seeks to motivate disadvantaged youth in rural Vietnam to attain higher education, which is extremely different than anything I have ever done before," said McCartan. "Athletes like me, team up with bilingual Vietnamese college students to coach and instruct the Vietnamese youth. It's pretty amazing and it will be an exceptional challenge."

The student-athletes are faced with a difficult task, but they are excited and energetic about the new experiences and challenges in front of them. "I think building relationships across cultures and nationalities through sports and education will be an incredible experience," van den Bergh added.

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