Mac women’s water polo team continue annual Motionball fundraiser during COVID-19
Graphic by Sybil Simpson, Production Editor
In 2020, the McMaster women’s water polo team helped raise over $33,000 in their annual motionball fundraiser to send athletes with intellectual disabilities to the Special Olympics. Now with the pandemic, they have continued their fundraising efforts in a more creative fashion.
Motionball supports young people who have intellectual disabilities, including (but not limited to) autism, Asperger syndrome and Down syndrome. These athletes are working hard to raise funds and help these families succeed in sending their athletes to the Special Olympics.
“Normally motionball is a one-day event where people fundraise. Then we have the event, receive all the donations and we’re done. Now it’s a month-long and full of events,” said Samantha Campione, a student ambassador at the DeGroote School of Business who is involved with motionball.
The bigger challenge for the event stems from the social distancing guidelines put in place during the pandemic. This means that donors and the athletes cannot meet face-to-face.
“People can’t meet their special olympic athlete, which makes it a lot harder to bond with them and get to know the intricacies and wonderful qualities of the athlete . . . It’s definitely harder for fundraising and for event planning, but what I worry about the most with COVID is people not getting the full experience with the athlete,” said Campione.
It may be harder to raise funds this year between the limited fundraising opportunities, the financial crunch many have gone through resulting from the pandemic and the limited interaction between the donors and the athletes, yet there are other ways for people to help.
“I have just been asking everybody if they can just share and spread the word. Even if you can’t donate, the more you get the word out about it is honestly the best. As much as fundraising really supports the event and the people who are a part of it, the awareness is one of the biggest parts of it as well. We just want people to know about it and the more people that do know about it, the more that we will reach other people and we’ll be able to get more people involved,” said Paige Hamilton, a second-year athlete on the women’s water polo team.
Whether or not the team reaches their fundraising goal of $27,000 this year, the team wants to make sure the message is heard and that those in their community are aware of what they are working towards.
The motionball events will take place through the month of March with weekly events throughout. Students who sign-up will still have the opportunity to meet with the athletes being supported in the planned events and games during the month. For additional information on Motionball McMaster, check the official website here.