TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology senior
Erika McGuire (Indianapolis/ Warren Central) has
been honored as the 2012 NCAA Division III Sportsmanship Award
Winner for her notable displays of sporting behavior last
McGuire was honored for creating a
pregame Zumba routine for her volleyball teammates at Rose-Hulman,
in order to relieve stress caused by the day and prepare the team
for the upcoming match. Throughout the season, McGuire began
inviting the opposition to join Rose-Hulman in the pregame Zumba
The majority of Rose-Hulman's opponents accepted McGuire's offer
and joined the Fightin' Engineers in their
pregame routine. This extended to the Heartland
Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. Prior to the
championship match, with an NCAA Tournament bid on the
line, the entire Bluffton University team joined the entire
Rose-Hulman team for this pregame workout.
Rose-Hulman finished 24-9 on the volleyball court in the fall of
2011, including the program's first HCAC title and first NCAA
Division III Tournament trip. McGuire, a biomedical
engineering major, also carries a 3.91 grade point average in the
She gained a passion and enthusiasm for Zumba in the summer
of 2011, working as an intern for Crossroads Missions in New
Orleans. While there, McGuire worked to "help restore the city that
I love not just through building infrastructure, but through
healing hearts while working at kids' day camps, church camps, and
homeless shelters each week."
Her first experience ever with Zumba was in New Orleans in the
spring of 2010 with a then-intern at Crossroads named Julie. In
2011, she worked daily alongside Julie, a now full-time employee of
Crossroads and part-time Zumba instructor for the poorer
neighborhoods in New Orleans. Julie increased McGuire's
interest in Zumba because of how she used it as an outreach to the
rougher communities in the city. Though it seems to just be an hour
exercise, she teaches classes that become more like families. At
the end of each session, the women share their struggles and
triumphs and Julie prays for each of them.
"The growth that I saw in the women and their perseverance
through their struggles encouraged me every day. As an outsider, a
foreigner to the city, I was welcomed into their classes and into
their family," McGuire wrote in her NCAA sportsmanship essay.
Her essay also showcased the impact of the Zumba routines not
only to the teams playing in each match but also as a period of
reflection for McGuire.
"I greatly enjoyed being able to share it this year with my own
volleyball team, and even more with other teams. I hope that the
positive environment that my team and I were able to create added
to the positive attitudes and sportsmanship of each match. To me,
it makes the event seem less stressful. The struggles of the women
I first learned Zumba with are magnitudes greater than the
struggles that we face on game day. To other girls, it is a way to
relax and to shake out their nerves, but for me it is a time to
reflect, because at the end of the day, it is just
volleyball," wrote McGuire.
The NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct selected
the winners. Other national winners included Blake McJunkin,
Southern Methodist football (Division I); Jessica Slagle, Bowling
Green State women's basketball (Division I); the Georgian Court
women's soccer team (Division II); and John Sgromolo, Flagler
baseball (Division II).
McGuire will receive her award from a member of the NCAA
national office staff prior to a
Rose-Hulman's volleyball home match later this
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