Queen’s athletes give back this Thanksgiving

The Varsity Leadership Council is creating opportunities for athletes to engage with the Kingston community

The Gaels are giving back in a big way.

Queen’s athletes have always prided themselves on doing great work on and off the field, whether in the classroom or community. Now, they have an organization to help concentrate their charitable efforts.

The student-athlete-run Varsity Leadership Council (VLC) is partnered with Queen’s University’s Department of Athletics and Recreation in an effort to promote positive action within Queen’s Athletics.

“The VLC fosters a student-athlete community through team-building events and [showing] support at all home competitions,” Harry Range, VLC co-president, told The Journal in an interview.

Range and the rest of the council host initiatives that allow Queen’s athletes to build relationships in the Kingston community through volunteer work and outreach programs.

Their most recent initiative was with the Partners in Mission Food Bank, located on Hickson Ave. The food bank serves local families and provides excess resources to shelter programs in the Kingston area.

Last month, the VLC collected almost 800 pounds of non-perishable food items to donate to the hungry.

“I truly believe in what we do and the difference we are making. It's comforting to know that we have the support from the Athletics and Recreation department to have a true impact at Queen's and Kingston Community,” Range said.

The council also acts as an advocate for athletes with the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

The VLC’s coordination gives athletes the opportunity to give back, offering diverse programs that work with youth and adults alike for positive change.

One such initiative, known as Gaels Care, involves athletes visiting children in local schools to help run gym classes and assist them with school work, touting the importance of sports and literacy as part of a healthy life.

 “I have seen how what we do as student-athletes truly does help people, whether that’s local students, local families in need, or kids with disabilities,” Range said.

“It's my priority to continue to grow this council and gain as much participation from all of our varsity clubs and teams so we can continue to ‘lead the way.’”

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