By Kristin Schultz
Niskayuna varsity and junior varsity field hockey players joined up with a community-wide team that walked to end Alzheimer’s disease on Sept. 23 at Siena College.
The varsity team has been raising money and participating in the walk for 13 years, and five years ago the JV joined them. Coach and Niskayuna High School teacher Alison Camarota heads the effort each year. In total, 41 student-athletes laced up their shoes and took the walk.
The team raised 40 percent more money than last year with a 2017 total of $1,400 raised through bake sale and other efforts.
“The girls really worked hard and dedicated a lot of time,” said Camarota.
The cause started as a personal effort for Camarota, whose mother participated in the walk and whose grandmother suffered from the illness. Now, however, the coach said many of the players and their families have been touched by the disease.
“It touches the whole community,” Camarota said. “So many people are affected — grandparents, great-grandparents.”
After the walk, the team volunteered at the site, painting faces and working the children’s craft table.
Camarota said the event was a success, but she hopes that each year their efforts impact not only Alzheimer’s research, but gives the athletes a different perspective as well.
“I hope the players get an awareness of what’s going on around them,” Camarota said. “It’s about life in general. The field hockey program is family oriented program. We’re here to support you through anything. There are things out there that are bigger than what’s going on the field.”