Athletes dodge balls for good cause

Stuck in Glenbrook Gymnasium for 41 hours with the same 20 people may sound like a challenge. Throw 41 hours of continuous games of dodge ball into the mix, and you’ve got Castleton State College attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the longest dodge ball marathon. Besides attempting to give Castleton the title of playing the world’s longest dodge ball game marathon, these students raised money for an organization called Right to Play, cashing in over $5,400 by the end of the weekend.
The original goal of the group was to raise $1,000.
“I’m completely ecstatic,” said Castleton State College President Dave Wolk.
Right to Play is an organization whose mission is to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.
Their ultimate programming goal is encouraging behavior change.
Castleton students Lindsey Gullett and Brett Zeggil opened a Right to Play chapter at Castleton, including athletes from almost all of the major sports teams.
“We wanted to do something that could bring in all athletes, instead of just focusing on hockey players,” said Zeggil. “Everything all of these athletes are doing is in support of Right to Play.”
Wolk believes the students’ initiative should be praised.
“This was conceptualized and organized completely by students,” said Wolk. “The fact that they came up with such a good cause and ran it from beginning to end really warms my heart.”
The dodge ball games, which started at 3 p.m. on April 28, took place in Glenbrook Gymnasium, in an enclosed playing area.
At each team bench there were three mattresses donated by Residence Life for the players to rest on while they were not playing. Also, the players had water and other beverages donated by the G. Housen Distributing Co. Food, which Wolk donated, was brought in to them as well.
On top of all of the donations, there was a drop bag raffle where several items were being raffled off, including signed jerseys from the men’s hockey and basketball teams, a signed football by the football team, and an autographed picture and hockey puck by Boston Bruins’ hockey player Andrew Ferrence, who is a member of the Right to Play organization.
He donated the picture and puck himself.
One of the students’ main goals was to surpass the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous dodge ball game.
According to Guinness, six players must be on the floor for each team at all times, and as soon as one game ends, the teams must switch sides and begin playing another round. Therefore, everything is completely continuous.
During the first few games, each of the students gave it 110 percent effort, however, they realized they were going to need to conserve their energy.
“At this point, my shoulders are starting to go,” Bell said during his first designated break time.
Shortly thereafter, Bell sprained his ankle during one of the dodge ball games.
“We’re only three hours in, and I just can’t wait to stop,” said Comstock, who had his shoulder wrapped up in ice.
Arnot received the only severe injury of the games when she collided with Serif, forcing her to get 10 stitches around her eyebrow.
Come Sunday morning, all of the students could only use “sore” to describe how they were feeling.
At roughly 8 a.m. Sunday morning, the final score was 437-391, with the yellow team taking the victory.
The students had played 828 straight games of dodge ball.
“I’m completely overwhelmed by the support we have received from the Castleton community, families and everyone else,” said Gullett. “It’s an unbelievable accomplishment.”
Gullett added that they made sure to look over every detail in order to get the record to count with Guinness.
“We’re videotaping the entire thing, having all the witnesses and volunteers sign in and sign out. We’re documenting everything just to make our application as official as possible so the record will stand with Guinness,” said Gullett.
He plans to send the application for the world record into Guinness in the next couple of days.
“Would I ever do this again for fun? Absolutely not,” said Bell. “But for the kids? Absolutely.”

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