Questions and Answers: Rachel Kushma '09
Women’s Tennis, 2006-2009
Bachelor of Science, Sports Management
New York, N.Y.
Why do you give to Springfield College athletics?
I want the current student-athletes to reap the same kinds of benefits and positive experiences that I enjoyed in the classroom and on the courts.
What impact do you think your gifts have on student-athletes?
I hope that my financial contributions will help student-athletes afford improved and updated equipment and also support easier travel to and from matches. But mostly, I hope the impact is for them to have an exceptional overall experience as a student-athlete.
How can coaches use philanthropic support to advance the student-athlete experience?
Philanthropic support affords coaches more flexibility in offering student-athletes a well-rounded experience. For instance, coaches can expand on the opportunity to play more opponents outside of the Massachusetts-Connecticut region. They can purchase new equipment and uniforms and provide proper maintenance of our school’s athletic fields, courts, and other venues.
What teams do you support and why?
As a former member of the women’s varsity tennis team, I am very happy to support the Springfield College tennis program. Based on my own experience on the team, I could imagine how beneficial donations would be to the program. I want future players to enjoy a fun experience without worrying about whether there is enough money in the program to remain competitive.
As a student-athlete at Springfield College, in what ways did support from alumni, families, and friends impact your experience?
I was fortunate enough to literally experience the benefits of financial donations that helped pay for the new indoor tennis courts. I believe that being able to practice, regardless of the weather, made us more competitive against teams, especially those that also have indoor courts. And, equally as important, the option of playing indoors ensured that we could play our full schedule of home matches.
How did your student-athlete experience benefit you after college?
Playing college sports proved to be a very valuable experience for me. There are many lessons I learned from my coach and from my fellow teammates as well as from competing that I have been able to use in my professional career. By playing on the team and learning to balance academics and sports, I have a better understanding of how to be a team player in work and other life settings and an understanding how to bounce back from a negative experience. My athletic experiences at Springfield College have also helped me secure coaching opportunities for middle and high school teams.
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