Wallyball ‘serves up’ Fair Trade awareness

By Melissa Mariani
March 19, 2009

Megan Pellegrino

Cabrini hosted its third-annual Wallyball tournament, a crowd-pleasing sport used to promote awareness for Fair Trade.

The event took place Wednesday, March 4 in the Dixon Center. Students and faculty faced off in the squash courts, all of whom were eager to play.

Wallyball is a game similar to volleyball; each team has three or four players and as a bonus you can use the walls when you play.

“All the events that happen in the Dixon Center teach skills of good sportsmanship. In this case, there is an added feature besides skills and exercise. That is to become aware that it is our role as consumers, we can make a difference in struggling communities around the world by buying Fair Trade sports equipment, coffee and clothing,” Mary Laver, director of international partnerships, said.

New comers to the event included Christine Nevin and Emily Yurick.

They both competed in the Fair Trade Wallyball Tournament and first became aware of Fair Trade in their finance and accounting classes.

“This is my first year playing for awareness of Fair Trade. The game was very competitive and I had a lot of fun being a part of such a great cause,” Nevin said.

“I think this is a smart way to get students involved in Fair Trade since its a big part of Cabrini College and what better way than to play some Wallyball,” Yurick said.

Teams got to create their own group and compete against each other.

Two brackets were used to keep track of the winners and losers in each round.

Team Triple Threat won the championship for the second time in a row after making it to the final round to play the Accounterminators.

These two teams faced off against each other in the final round in the tournament last year.

“You might think anything to do with sports would come strictly out of the Dixon Center or the athletic department, but actually this event started in the Wolfington Center because it deals with campus ministry. We are very interested in programs that support the poor,” Laver said.

The Wallyball tournament gave support to not only Fair Trade, but Catholic Relief Services as well.

Cabrini College has been an active partner with CRS mainly through the initiative of students involved with CRS programs.

Dominican Sister Arlene Flaherty, CRS Justice and Peace liaison, was present at the tournament and showed a very competitive side, when rooting for the final two teams.

“I absolutely think this event was a great turnout, there is a significant number of faculty and students engaged in it which really shows the commitment of the whole Cabrini community with fair trade,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty explained why Fair trade is an important project to CRS, and how people in developing countries do not get paid fair wages.

“Fair Trade provides an opportunity for people who are poor to work in a way that’s fair and just. It pays them and also compensates them for their work, and also enables them to provide for their families and communities in a way that develops their potential and honors their humanity,” Flaherty said.

“Awareness is rising throughout the years. Cabrini is really engaged in Fair Trade by making students aware through a commitment with Fair Trade coffee on campus, the recent Guatamala trip and on a number of occasions Cabrini ambassadors have ran programs to educate a wider student body on the issues of fair trade. By teaching people how you can use your power of consumerism in a way that really advantages the poor, Fair Trade is growing and expanding,” Flaherty said.

Members from the CRS ambassadors were also present at the event to show support. Jessica Zawrotny, senior psychology major and CRS ambassador-at-large said, “The purpose of the event is to promote awareness about Fair Trade just to get the word out and it’s a good excuse to come out.Everyone likes to compete. Being the third consecutive year played, we’re going to continue, because obviously it is a great turn out and it’s something different. It’s extremely nice to also not only see the same group of students who are involved in Fair Trade, but a lot of new students getting involved this year.”

The Wallyball game ended with handing out certificates to the final players who competed.

The teams showed great sportsmanship and gained a personal insight of what Fair Trade really means.

“Its a different way to get a mixed groups of students to come out and promote Fair Trade,” Zawrotny said.

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Melissa Mariani

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