Fun & Games

January 29, 2015

At some colleges and universities, student-athletes run in similar social circles and easily share inter-team friendships. At New York University, however, its urban campus makes such interactions a challenge. To counter this, the NYU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) brought together all of the Violets' 21 varsity teams in December for a day of fun, bonding, and friendly competition.

Dubbed the Violet Games, the contests included dodgeball, basketball, and volleyball, as well as tug-of-war, Twister, and chess. Winning teams were awarded points toward the Violet Cup, a year-long contest that also rewards teams for community service and good grades.

"The whole thing was conceptualized, organized, and run by the SAAC, and it was a complete success," says NYU Assistant Athletic Director Dominick Ciaccia. "The teams were especially gung-ho about dodgeball and tug-of-war."

The Violet Games also served as a fundraiser for Dynamo Camp, a summer camp in Italy catering to children with serious or chronic illnesses, which the men's basketball team visited and worked with last summer. With each student-athlete donating $2, the SAAC raised over $300 for Dynamo Camp.

"The event allowed our student-athletes to discover common bonds with peers they may have never met otherwise," Ciaccia says. "Out of that, support for each others' teams has grown. You're more apt to now see members of our golf team cheering on the basketball team or soccer players at men's volleyball matches."

There are talks of holding the Violet Games on an annual basis, but Ciaccia says that is up to the student-athletes. "As an administration, we definitely support doing it again," he says. "But we also feel that it's up to the SAAC to initiate and run the event, just like they did this time around."

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