Springfield, Ohio – For the sixth straight year, Wittenberg University’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took on perhaps the most challenging opponent of all, joining hundreds of other college, high school and club teams across the country to raise awareness and funds for cancer research as part of the annual Hour of Power Relay.
Wittenberg participated in the event, which honors those who are fighting or have succumbed to cancer, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the HPER Center Natatorium. The Tiger teams’ involvement in the Hour of Power Relay fits with the university’s emphasis on community service through its innovative Tiger GAME Plan initiative.
The national Hour of Power Relay program was started in 2005 at Carleton College after Ted Mullin, a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, died of a rare soft-tissue cancer called sarcoma. The event has grown to include more than thousands of student-athletes annually, all of whom raise money for the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the University of Chicago.
Over the first six years of the Hour of Power Relay, nearly $300,000 has been raised. In addition to raising money and awareness about sarcoma, which disproportionately affects adolescents and young adults, the event aims to promote team spirit.
Wittenberg’s Hour of Power, organized in 2012 by seniors Ward McNulty (Glencoe, Ill./New Trier) and Jane Tsivitse (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming), was an hour-long sprint relay in which team members swam 50-yard lengths of each different stroke. The team was divided into six lanes of eight to nine team members each, mixing the men’s and women’s teams together and including the members who compete only as divers during meets.
Prior to diving into the pool, team members huddled to reflect upon their experience, with several mentioning personal connections to cancer, including family losses and survivor stories as well. It provides an important time for team members to come together and reflect.
“This year’s event was extremely successful, raising a little more than $180,” Tsivitse said. “This event is very meaningful to each team member in different ways. It’s great that we can come together for an opportunity like this.
“It’s easy to lose sight of what is really important. This provides us with a much-needed sense of perspective.”
For more information, visit Carleton’s website at: http://go.carleton.edu/HourOfPower. To make a contribution to Wittenberg’s Hour of Power fundraiser, contact Head Coach Natalie Koukis at (937) 327-6446 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Ryan Maurer