GREENSBORO, N.C. - In an effort to help promote mental wellness through exercise, UNCG men's soccer participated in this year's Shea's Chase 5K Run & Walk in Greensboro this past Saturday, Nov. 2.
Shea's Chase is an annual race to commemorate the late Shea McKenna who took his own life on June 8, 2014. In addition to honoring his memory, the 5K race has been used as a tool to raise awareness about mental health while de-stigmatizing the idea of what the challenges of mental health look like. 100 percent of the funds raised for Shea's Chase are donated to Mental Health Greensboro (MHG), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing mental health education, along with free peer support and recovery services within the Greensboro community. Over the first four years of the event, Shea's Chase has already raised over $220,000 dollars, while helping MHG provide over 10,000 hours of recovery support services and teach more than 500 recovery skills classes on an annual basis.
Still in preparation for their final regular season matchup of the year later in the evening, the Spartan players were forced to abstain from running the daytime race, but still felt compelled to spend their Saturday volunteering their time to cheer on runners through the finish line and pass out water to participants.
"The Shea's Chase 5K showed that mental health has no gender, ethnicity or age," said Spartan captain Nelson Oceano. "Everybody can be affected by issues related to mental health. I feel honored and proud of those who devoted their time and energy to raise awareness to mental health."
While their team was unable to take part, the entire men's soccer staff participated in the weekend race along with multiple staff members from the UNCG Athletics Department.
"It was a fantastic event to be a part of," said Spartan head coach Chris Rich. "Mental health is a real thing, especially among student-athletes, so it was great to continue to push awareness at such an impactful event in our community. Huge thanks to Kristin Rusboldt for organizing our UNCG Athletics team, and other staff members for joining us!"