Athletes for Rwanda plays for a good cause


Hanna Dupre

Shawn Specht and Griffin Nordin finish as runner-ups in the tournament. Athletes for Rwanda raised $327 for their cause.

Monique Dufault, A&E Editor

In support of an orphanage in Rwanda, the Athletes for Rwanda club hosted its third annual tennis tournament at the Carlsbad High School tennis courts. The 16 teams who participated, all dressed in themed-couples costumes to make the game more festive, were able to raise $400 for the orphanage.

Although the players had other specific reasons for their participation, whether it was to dress up with friends or just because they loved playing tennis, each participant was partly influenced to play because of the incredible cause.

“I decided to take part in this tournament because the proceeds go towards a good cause, and it is fun to be out here playing with all my fellow seniors,” senior Lauren Streicher said.

Because of the light-hearted nature of this charity tournament, a wide variety of skill levels participated. However, this did not take away from the competitive aspect of the game.

“My partner, Kevin Gordon, is reining champion of this tournament, and I have played a few times,” Streicher said. “I think we made a great team, and it felt awesome to be playing for a greater cause.”

This years champs were seniors Catania Ramos and Ethan Emery. Both brought a competitive spirit and made for an exciting championship match against runner-ups senior Griffin Nordin and his partner from LCC, Shawn Specht.

The club’s annual tennis tournament always contributes largely to its total donation, but the club puts together other tournaments throughout the year as well.  Tentative upcoming tournaments include beach volleyball, ping pong, and three-on-three basketball.  Throughout the year, the club also has an ongoing sports equipment drive.

“At the end of the year, we pool all of the funds that we have raised over the year, and the orphanage gets to do what it wants with the money,” junior President of Athletes for Rwanda club Collin Riccitelli said. “The idea of the Athletes for Rwanda club started around the idea of collecting sports equipment for the orphanage, but we also send over the money to help them with anything else they need.”

Through these yearly donations, the club members have had the ability to see the impact that they are making on the children of the orphanage.  With the founding members all having graduated last year, the new officer staff hopes to continue their positive legacy.

“I know by talking with the past presidents that when we send the money to Africa, the kids at the orphanage get super excited,” Riccitelli said. “I have learned to appreciate how blessed we are having everything so accessible, and it is a great feeling to help out people who aren’t as fortunate. By the end of the year,  I will be able to see the impact first hand and be more involved with the process. I’m excited to see all of our hard work pay off and in our way, help make the world a better place.”