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JMU Student-Athletes Collect Equipment For Local Charity

Sep 4, 2015, 11:38 AM EDT


JMU senior Daniel Roppert and former student-athlete Paul Wyatt have spearheaded an equipment drive.


Our student-athletes are very involved in their communities and understand the importance of giving back.

Here is a great effort courtesy of

James Madison Athletics on Friday will donate used athletic equipment to benefit local kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. The donation, which will take place at Friday evening’s men’s soccer contest, was driven by men’s soccer senior Daniel Roppert along with former student-athlete Paul Wyatt.

Roppert stated, “The idea started with my sister, who is working with mentally challenged kids back home in Germany. My soccer team decided to do a soccer cleat donation, and it was just amazing to see how happy the kids were when they received the used cleats. To them, it just means so much more and it was great to see their reactions.”

When Roppert returned to JMU a year ago, he was inspired to continue the idea in the Harrisonburg community but was hopeful to make the donation even bigger by getting other student-athletes involved. The equipment drive started last spring with student-athletes dropping off gently used equipment into donation boxes dispersed in all the team locker rooms.  “We got a really good turn out, so I think the athletes here really supported the idea and made it work,” Roppert commented.

When asked why he wanted to help, Roppert replied, “You generally just get a really good feeling when you get to help someone else, and for us as athletes it is just a small thing to give; but for the kids it will be like celebrating their birthday and Christmas together, because they usually don’t get things like this. So I am really looking forward to see their faces brighten with a smile.”

Roppert hopes that future JMU athletes will remain passionate about the equipment drive and continue to donate items to keep the drive going for less fortunate children. He wished to thank everyone who contributed to the drive, including Paul Wyatt who was instrumental in planning and executing the drive, Director of Equipment Services Chris Ouren and his crew for helping to collect and store the items, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the JMU Athletics communications and marking staff for the promotion of the event.