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CMS Senior Organizes Donations to Help Medical Facilities

Anastasia Bryan-Ajania was at home in San Rafael, California reading as much as she could about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps senior captain’s career had abruptly come to an end only a few weeks after undefeated CMS captured the ITA Division III National Indoor title.

Bryan-Ajania came across something a former boss posted on LinkedIn about how colleges and universities could help during the pandemic. She learned that college athletic and science departments have some personal protective equipment that medical facilities could desperately use.

After contacting school officials, Bryan-Ajania initiated donations from the seven schools that are part of the Claremont Colleges consortium. They collected gloves, lab coats, masks and disinfectant wipes.

The carload of equipment was donated to medical facilities in the Claremont and Pomona area on Tuesday.

“They always say anything helps or you can make an impact with one call, and in this situation I really believe we can,” Bryan-Ajania said. “We have to do everything that is within our power to try and help the facilities that are experiencing shortages.”

Bryan-Ajania is hoping to inspire other college athletic departments across the country that haven’t already donated equipment to do the same. She has sent emails to NCAA officials and athletic directors at bigger universities. She has also encouraged other student-athletes to send emails as well, offering a sample email for them.

“I think it is imperative that other institutions across the nation are doing this and setting an example,” Bryan-Ajania said. “Having the ITA or NCAA issuing statements, contributing financially or gathering supplies would be very helpful and make an impact right now.”

Bryan-Ajania is on schedule to graduate this spring with an economics degree from Scripps College. Although the NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility to all spring sport athletes whose seasons were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bryan-Ajania isn’t likely to return.

But rather than feeling robbed of anything, she feels grateful for all the life lessons, championships and relationships her college career provided.

“I think everything I learned from my college tennis experience and competing as a college athlete can apply to so many aspects of my life going forward,” Bryan-Ajania said. “Our team was able to be as successful as we were because we genuinely perceived everything as a team goal and not just about the individual. I have a profound appreciation for everything I experienced.”

As she finishes her classes remotely while under stay-at-home orders in the Bay Area, Bryan-Ajania wants to do as much as possible to help equip everyone fighting the virus on the front lines.

“It feels great to kind of divert energy into this because obviously it was very devastating to have my senior year end the way it did,” she said. “But I think right now we need to unify as much as possible to help others.”


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About Rhiannon Potkey

Rhiannon Potkey is a veteran sportswriter with more than two decades of experience in journalism. Potkey has covered many sports at many levels and has a passion for finding great stories. Potkey has covered the U.S. Open, junior sectional and national events, college conference championships and Davis Cup matches. Potkey is currently Content Strategist for Tennis Recruiting. You can reach Rhiannon by email at [email protected].
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