January 6, 2011
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Student leads sports clinic in Ghana
Senior Kathryn “Kat” Cammack is holding sports clinics in Ghana over winter break.
For many students, winter break is a time to literally take a break. Not for one student, who has galvanized multiple groups, including student athletes, to help cultivate leaders on the other side of the globe.
Metropolitan State College of Denver international business and international relations major Kathryn “Kat” Cammack is spending her time off making a difference through Project Ghana, a sports clinic and mentorship program serving 100 students between the ages of 13-21.
Cammack is spearheading the program through Alpine Leadership International (A.L.I.), a nonprofit organization she created to develop leadership in communities around the world through partnerships. Cammack, a Student Government Assembly executive and student trustee on the College's Board of Trustees, was inspired to develop the program after traveling the world last year in the University of Virginia’s “Semester at Sea” program.
Building on her travel experiences and current roles, she has coordinated the participation of a variety of organizations in the program, which is being hosted at Achimota Secondary School in Accra, Ghana.
Written on the back side of Roadrunner Dele Johnson's card is 'dreams can't come true until you wake up.'
With the help of Metro State Athletics, Witness HOPE and Ghana native Peter Yobo with iStand Above, A.L.I. is hosting a basketball clinic and tournament, a leadership workshop, a cheer and dance fundamentals clinic and a soccer tournament.
Though many of the supporting organizations are not physically in Ghana with Cammack, they found ways to make a difference. In the spirit of teamwork, Metro State Athletics donated 150 “Project Ghana” t-shirts that feature the Metro State logo. Sports Information Director Andy Schlichting helped create Metro State basketball and soccer players’ cards, which feature inspirational quotes and advice from each player on the back side. The cards, in addition to the shirts and team pictures, are signed by the basketball team and handed out to clinic participants.
Metro State basketball and soccer players will mentor the young Ghanaian participants via e-mail over the next year. Schlichting says the department is excited about giving youth overseas the chance to participate in sports in addition to the skills they’ll be able to use in other aspects of their lives.
“The Athletics Department has been, hands down, absolutely amazing,” says Cammack, also a cheerleader. “This (project) would not have happened without them chipping in.” In addition, Director of Campus Recreation Tony Price donated balls for the clinic.
Metro State Trustee Bill Hanzlik, co-founder/head of the Gold Crown Foundation, provided A.L.I. with basketball drills as well as advice about operating a nonprofit organization.
The funding for Cammack’s trip came out of her own pocket. “I’m making an initial investment, and teaching a skill. That skill is transferable,” says Cammack who believes athletics help develop leadership skills including team work and self-discipline.