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Mount Athlete has a ‘Mount Moment’ 2000 Miles Away From Campus


Sam Pinchoff, a Communications major and Mount tennis player, recently spent time in St. Lucia on a sports mission trip

“Do you have an extra pair of shoes for me?” His big brown eyes gazed up at Sam and she smiled down at him.

The mission trip group had been able to bring gently used soccer cleats to share with the children and young adults on St. Lucia because of generous donations from supporters.  Sam searched through the pile of shoes and finally came to the last pair, but they were all too small for this boy.

“It’s ok.  I play this way all the time.”  The boy smiled and turned to join in the soccer game barefoot. 

After doing some quick math in her head, Sam realized that the boy could fit in her cleats.  “There was no thinking when I gave my shoes to the boy!” she said, “I just did— because I couldn’t fathom him running around the field, working hard to improve his soccer skills, barefoot!  Back in America we don’t worry about having shoes, we worry about having the most fashionable, best types of shoes.”

This past summer, there were 13 FOCUS mission trips spanning destinations from Russia to Brazil.  Varsity Catholic hosted two summer mission camps, one in St. Lucia and the other in the Dominican Republic.  FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, is a national outreach that meets college students where they are and invites them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith.  The Mount has four FOCUS missionaries of her own, and one Varsity Catholic missionary who reaches out specifically to athletes.

Sam was invited to go on the ten day Varsity Catholic mission trip to St. Lucia.  She decided to attend because she saw it as an “opportunity to touch the lives of others in the name of Christ.”  Sam shared her love of sports and love of God, gave her testimony as a Christian athlete at schools, and worked with children with disabilities on her summer sports mission trip.

Last year, as a sophomore, Sam Pinchoff played the #1 singles and doubles positions on the Division I tennis team at the Mount, earning a 14-5 doubles record.  She said, “It didn't matter if you played golf, tennis, or if you were a gymnast, they [children in St. Lucia] looked up to you immediately because you played a sport at the collegiate level in the States.  No matter what we did throughout the week we were being watched by the youth.”

Later on the day that she gave her shoes away, Sam saw the boy who she had given her cleats to, but he was barefoot again.  Perplexed, she looked around the field and noticed that another boy—his brother—was wearing the cleats.  The boy so graciously shared what he had just received.  Sam’s selflessness was imitated; a great ‘Mount moment.”

To find out more about what FOCUS or Varsity Catholic has to offer, visit their office in lower McGowen or contact Emily Koenning at koenning@msmary.edu

 
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