Be A TIGER, the Solid Orange Squad's character education initiative, involves several different programs that reach out to local youth. One of those programs, TIGER Pals, matches a child with a student-athlete who writes to them throughout the semester and teaches them the importance of being a Clemson Tiger.
This school year, TIGER Pals has reached out to over 115 children in local schools and children's homes as well as two schools in England. Each semester, the student-athletes write one letter per week about the different characteristics of being a TIGER. For a total of six letters, the student-athletes use prompts written by Paul Clowes, the director of TIGER Pals, about the importance of Teamwork, Integrity, Gratitude, Education and Respect. Clowes, a junior on the Clemson men's soccer team and a native of England, visited one of the schools during his winter break.
Clowes visited Altricham Church of England Primary School on Dec. 20 to meet the "Year 3" students that Kelly Gramlich, a junior on the women's basketball team, had been writing to. He reiterated Gramlich's message about the important values associated with being a TIGER. He noted that when showing pictures of Clemson's campus and athletic facilities, the student's were completely amazed and intrigued.
Below, Clowes shares about the experience:
"The whole experience was wonderful and I loved how, although our school and program is 3,974 miles away from Manchester, England, our student-athletes can touch the lives of children and help them through their personal growth and development. To know that we are all part of something bigger than our sport, our school, our state and our country is a wonderful idea and can only enhance the lives of everyone that we are lucky enough to interact with."