Community. That’s the word that fifth-year Georgia hockey coach John Camp hammers home to his players. Not only are the players themselves a community, but they should strive to be a part of the local community around them through community service and outreach.
Since starting at Georgia, Camp has been looking for different charities for the hockey team to partner with.
So when Dwight Standridge of Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer contacted him about a partnership between the hockey team and the BBBC, Camp said it was “miraculous” and “exactly what we were looking for.”
The local charity’s emphasis on 100% of the proceeds not only going to charity but also going straight to St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens was a perfect fit for the Dawgs’ hockey team.
In 2018, Georgia hockey and BBBC’s Pink in the Rink debuted. The event covered two home games, and fans were invited to wear pink to support breast cancer awareness. During those two games, the hockey team wore custom-made breast cancer awareness jerseys that were auctioned off after the second game, with all proceeds going to the BBBC.
Fans could also get involved through the Goals Pledge, pledging any dollar amount for each Georgia goal scored during those two games.
Through Pink in the Rink during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, UGA Hockey raised over $10,000 for the BBBC. And after taking last year off due to Covid, Pink in the Rink is back this week for the Ice Dawgs’ matchups against Clemson on Thursday and Georgia Tech on Friday.
The Ice Dawgs will once again wear custom made jerseys, this time sponsored by Landmark Properties of Athens. The new jerseys will be auctioned off after the almost sold out game against Tech, and fans can once again pledge any dollar amount per goal scored. Currently, pledges are up to $225 per Georgia goal, and that’s something that Camp and the team don’t take lightly.
"“Our obligation should be to go out there and for every goal, we score raise money,” Camp said. ” But it’s more than just raising money, it’s raising awareness.”"
Camp wants the Ice Dawgs to realize that these are real world scenarios that their athletics are able to have an effect on. This isn’t just raising money to fight breast cancer. This is raising money to provide a woman with the opportunity to get a free mammogram, so she doesn’t have to choose between her health and a meal for her kids.
According to Camp, the players are more than simply athletes; instead, they have “a vehicle as a UGA hockey player to make change.”
Standridge will talk to the team after practice. He’ll share his story and the work that the BBBC is doing in Athens to help fight breast cancer, reinforcing what Camp tells the team all the time: it means more when it’s from the heart. And that’s why Georgia Hockey and the BBBC are a perfect fit.
"“What I love about the BBBC is that you can tell it’s truly coming from the heart,” Camp said. “Everyone involved is doing it from their heart.”"
Because, at its core, that’s what community is about, selflessly fighting for and helping one another with your whole heart.
So come Thursday and Friday night, the Ice Dawgs will live out Camp’s words, showing that they aren’t just “citizens of the university, but citizens of the community” as they and fans come together for Pink in the Rink and the fight against breast cancer. And isn’t that what we love about the Dawgs?
All quotes in this article were obtained directly in person by the author unless otherwise noted.