The change from Castleton State College, to Castleton University wasn’t the only change that took place this past summer. Castleton’s Athletic Department has started a new program that fundraises money for athletic teams in a way that doesn’t burden the coaches or players.
This new program is called the Spartan Shield Society, and its focus is to generate more money through donations from “Shield Members”. Shield Members vary anywhere from faculty and alumni, to Castleton residents.
“To get our teams to the next level we have formed the Spartan Shield Society to be a collective fundraising wing for athletics”, said Bo McDougal, men’s lacrosse head coach and head of the Spartan Shield Society.
Allison Vachon, senior captain for the women’s soccer team, hadn’t heard of the Spartan Shield Society.
“I didn’t even know there was a new fundraising program,” said Vachon confused.
After learning about the Shield Society, Vachon questioned what the difference actually was.
“With every member who ‘grabs their shield’ and supports Castleton Athletics, the department and its student-athletes grow stronger, more competitive, and better equipped to succeed”, said Castleton on their website.
Maintaining competitive edge and treatment for players will not be an issue with the formation on the shield.
“In terms of equipment, safety precautions, number of competitions, and number of student athletes, we should be running the same as previous years,” McDougal said.
The shield makes it less hectic on a student athlete to fundraise money through bake sales, T shirt sales, or the typical calendar raffle drawings.
A table showing how much money will result in changes for athletes is located on their website. If 10,000 dollars were raised, the baseball team is able to fly south to Texas for pre season. 100 dollars provides cold weather gear to a soccer player. The shield acts as a constant receiver of donations, relieving stress off the athletes and coaches.
Players are excited to see the affects that the shield society will have.
“Not having to do any fundraising this year is going to be awesome,” said senior lacrosse player Nick Bruch, “Hopefully the donations are enough to get us some cool gear.”
Will the Spartan Shield Society be enough to take the hassle completely off of all coaches and students?
“Right now we are really kind of in our grassroots efforts stage, but the recent Castleton Classic Golf Outing, which set a record number of participants as well as a record number in donations, is a good start,” added McDougal.
The Spartan Shield Society reached out to every Castleton Alumni offering them a free year membership to the Society. For more information visit the Shield Society online at castletonsports.com/shield-society.