- Were you the kid that looked forward to dodgeball day in elementary school?
- Are you now the adult that would like to bond with your co-workers by attempting to brain others with a dodgeball?
- Do you want to support those in need in our community while having a great time?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have just the thing for you!
On August 12th, the United Way of Greater Knoxville is excited to present their the annual dodgeball tournament. Dodgeball Y’all is a fantastic and fun way to spend a Saturday morning supporting our community.
The brainchild of 2015 Campaign Co-Chairs Dr. Jack Lacey and Robin Wilhoit, Dodgeball Y’all has become one of United Way’s most anticipated events of the year. Every year, we have teams asking to register for the next year’s event before completing their second game. With all of this hype, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why dodgeball?”.
To answer that question, I sat down with Dr. Lacey and Ms. Wilhoit to talk about the beginning of Dodgeball Y’all.
When asked why they decided on dodgeball Ms. Wilhoit told me that “it was an idea I had to involve more people in our community and increase awareness through a fun and exciting activity.” Dr. Lacey went on to mention that “one of the perks of a game like dodgeball is that it was a physical activity that everyone could relate to and could be played by all skill levels and all age ranges.”
The competition really brings out a fierceness in people you might not expect. You get to see a different side of your coworkers and bond in a different way.
While Dr. Lacey had been a big fan of dodgeball growing up, I was surprised to learn over the course of our conversation that Ms. Wilhoit did not have similar fond memories of the sport. “I hated it in school. I was always the first one to get out!” Her feelings changed after witnessing first hand how company participation can have some unexpected benefits. “The competition really brings out a fierceness in people you might not expect. You get to see a different side of your coworkers and bond in a different way. I remember the first year being really surprised at how much of a ‘beast’ Leslie Ackerson was on the court.”
Dr. Lacey also mentioned this “enthusiasm and intensity that comes out on the court across all different skill levels.”
Working together as a team helps build camaraderie on and off the court
Not to mention, a little healthy competition between teams is fun. Working together as a team helps build camaraderie on and off the court. Becky from HR and Walt from Accounting are much more likely to bond over a narrowly missed dodgeball flying at their face than over mundane work tasks. And Lucy from Marketing and Rhonda from Sales will get a good laugh out of the way they eliminated an entire team in an unexpected, underdog victory.
I asked Dr. Lacey what his favorite part of dodgeball was and he highlighted the combination of doing something fun and meaningful at the same time. “There’s nothing better than coming together to help our community and help those in need in our community and have fun while doing it.”
Tournament proceeds benefit United Way of Greater Knoxville’s services to the community. United Way of Greater Knoxville provides funding 112 local programs through 52 partner agencies, and impacts more than 106,500 people in our community every year.
If you would like to put together a team, sign up for Dodgeball today!