October 18, 2011

Athletes and soldiers paired for physical training

By Rae Hodge–

On Oct. 14, the University of Louisville’s women’s basketball team traveled to Fort Knox to participate in a leadership reaction course designed by The Fort Knox-University of Louisville-Community Partnership Advisory Board.

The 16-member panel was formed over the summer with the goal of creating several projects that will strengthen between the University of Louisville and Fort Knox.

Renee Finnegan, a retired U.S. Army colonel and U of L’s first executive director of military initiatives and partnerships, said the project began when she was introduced to the team’s assistant coaches by President Ramsey.

“When it comes to athletes and soldiers, so many of the attributes that they require for success are the same– discipline, stamina, physical fitness,” Finnegan said.

During the Oct. 14 project, the team participated in timed outdoor obstacle courses with names like “Quicksand” and “One Rope Bridge,” which are designed to improve leadership and teamwork.

“I know the soldiers are very excited to work with the basketball team, and that this is going to be fun for both,” Finnegan said. “But this course is really going to test them. I’m not sure this team knows what it’s in for.”

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Lady Cards returned to the soldier headquarters to sign autographs and visit with the soldiers.

Finnegan said that the U.S. Army 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command will be coming to basketball games this year to support the team until they deploy. Once they deploy, it will be the Lady Cards who support the Army unit, by sending care packages overseas, writing letters, and visiting with soldiers’ families.

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Photo: Flikr/Beverly&Pack

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