KU Student-Athletes Volunteer at 14th Annual LPD Police Camp

June 16, 2011


Summer break doesn’t mean that KU student-athletes take a break from participating in community service. On Saturday, June 11 at Free State High School in Lawrence, five Jayhawk student-athletes from the track and field and swimming and diving teams volunteered for the 14th annual Lawrence Police Department’s Police Camp.

LPD’s Police Camp is a program that promotes positive interaction between the officers of the Lawrence Police Department and the children of the city of Lawrence. The program is put on by the Lawrence Police Department’s school resource officers. The curriculum includes a wide range of activities that incorporate teamwork, physical fitness, general police information and good citizenship.

The physical fitness component of the camp was facilitated by the KU student-athlete volunteers who surprised the 65 Police Camp participants ages 8-13. Ebo Browne, Brendan Soucie and Dalen Fink from the men’s track and field team where each assigned a team of campers for the day’s activities. After some laps around the practice gym at Free State High School and some stretching to warm-up, a game called “Pirate Ball” was introduced by School Resources Officer Jay Bialek. Pirate Ball is like capture the flag; it is an activity that requires constant movement and coordinated teamwork. The student-athletes huddled their teams to develop a game plan and then several highly competitive rounds of Pirate Ball ensued.

Shannon Garlie and Sarah Hettenbach, members of KU’s swimming and diving team, were practicing next door to Free State at the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center. As soon as their practice concluded they rushed over to take part in the Police Camp activities.

“Police Camp was fun! It was a great opportunity to encourage the kids and help motivate them to pursue their dreams,” said Garlie, a senior free distance swimmer from Fort Collins, Colo.

After Pirate Ball concluded, the Kansas student-athletes spoke to the 65 campers about the importance of daily exercise and making their school work a priority.

Browne, a senior sprinter on the track and field team and Free State graduate, has been involved with the police camp for numerous years. Browne said, “I grew up in Lawrence and attended the police camp in 2002 and really enjoyed it. It was fun to do the same thing but from a different perspective this time.”