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Aug. 31, 2011
Amy Altig visited the Central American nation of Honduras to introduce native children to the sport of lacrosse and provide them with an all-around sport experience.
Traveling with fellow U.S. National Team member and current Florida assistant coach Erica LaGrow, Altig spent 10 days in the village of Ahuas, located in Eastern Honduras, staying at the Clinic Evangelica Moravia with Dr. Gerard Rudy and his family. LaGrow had previously visited Ahuas when she was a student at North Carolina, working under Dr. Rudy at the medical clinic.
While in Ahuas, Altig and LaGrow ran daily "sport camps" for the village children on municipal and school fields normally reserved for soccer, the favored sport in the area. Altig helped to teach the sport of lacrosse but also played soccer, baseball, and football with groups normally numbering 20-30 kids but at times reaching in upwards of 100. Ages of the kids ranged between four and 16. Much of the sports equipment used during the camps, including soccer balls, footballs, lacrosse sticks, lacrosse balls, cleats, clothes, uniforms, etc., was received through donations.
"We can't thank everyone enough for so graciously donating all the amazing gear, equipment, clothes, and money to help our trip," said Altig.
At a visit to a local school to speak about American sports, the children immediately took to lacrosse and loved to play the game. They affectionately began to call it "mano a mano;" a phrased coined as a result of their difficulty in saying the words "lacrosse" and "the draw."
"The trip was an incredible experience full of life lessons and unforgettable memories," said Altig. "Despite language barriers and cultural differences, it's amazing how sports has the ability to bring people together. The language of sports is universal and is a great teaching tool. Lacrosse is just one of those great sports that takes you to places you never imagined you would get to see and introduces you to people that will change your life."
Earlier this summer, Altig, a goalkeeper, was named to the 2011-12 U.S. National Senior Team. The squad will serve as the foundation for the team that will compete in the 2013 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Cup in Oshawa, Ontario. The U.S. National Senior Team will come together for several events this year including the Stars & Stripes Weekend in October and the Champion Challenge in January and will conduct numerous national team player clinics throughout the year at various places around the country.
In her first season in Happy Valley, Altig helped the 2011 Nittany Lions post a 10-8 record, including four wins over ranked opponents. Altig played a key role in the development of Dana Cahill into one of the nation's top goalkeepers. In her first season as a starter, Cahill was named ALC Goalkeeper of the Year and earned First Team IWLCA All-West/Midwest Region honors.
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