Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Southeastern Athletics honored to give back to community

Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 | Views: 2929

Southeastern Athletics honored to give back to community
HAMMOND---Southeastern Louisiana University student-athletes are expected to excel in the classroom, in the community and in competition.

It’s that second obligation that has been on full display over the past several days, as residents of Hammond and the surrounding areas continue to pick up the pieces after flooding rains drenched the majority of south Louisiana. For Southeastern Director of Athletics Jay Artigues, there was no question what the mission was for the Lions and Lady Lions.

“In trying times, it’s our duty as members of this tremendous community to step up and help any we can,” Artigues said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our coaches and student-athletes for their willingness to do their part.”

Over the past several days, Southeastern Louisiana student-athletes from nearly every program have provided assistance to the community-wide relief efforts. SLU student-athletes helped many people with cleaning up their homes, whether moving furniture or pulling carpet.

Other Lions and Lady Lions assisted at local shelters. Members of the Southeastern Athletics family packed supplies, played games with the children and helped with the distribution of donated items.

“It is heartbreaking to see people so devastated and who have lost everything,” SLU junior softball student-athlete Kinsey Nichols said. “The opportunity to be a part of this community that has come together to serve and love the flood victims has been fulfilling.”

Artigues believes the efforts of Southeastern Athletics have been a small part of the overwhelming support shown throughout the campus, the city of Hammond and the entire region.

“When you look at what our community gives to Southeastern Athletics, we were honored to be able to give back,” Artigues said. “The people of south Louisiana are a resilient group that takes pride in helping each other out in tough situations and you’re seeing that throughout our area. People helping their neighbor is one of the things that makes Hammond and the surrounding area a special place and we’re humbled to play any part we can in that.”

As the rain subsided and the cleanup could begin, Artigues was ready to begin using Southeastern Athletics’ manpower to assist with the efforts. One coach was one step ahead of Artigues.

“(Head baseball) Coach (Matt) Riser rallied the troops before I even asked,” Artigues said. “We knew that once classes start on Monday, it will be more difficult for our student-athletes to get out and help. So it was important for us to hit the ground running this week and help as many people as we can while we have this opportunity.”

While the physical Southeastern campus in Hammond saw minimal effects of the flood, Southeastern Athletics staff, student-athletes and coaches have all felt the effects.

“Everyone in our department knows someone – family, co-workers, teammates or friends – that has been affected by this,” Artigues said. “We wish we could help more people, because so many in our area are suffering. Despite that, we feel fortunate to be a part of a community that has come together to help each other.”