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Women's Lacrosse Raises Awareness for Relationship Violence

Women's Lacrosse Raises Awareness for Relationship Violence

Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)

CHICOPEE, Mass. – In preparation for the 2016 season, the Elms College women's lacrosse team participated in the 'Yards for Yeardley' program during the month of October as part of their offseason training schedule. 'Yards for Yeardley' works in support of The One Love Foundation to raise awareness for relationship violence.

The Blazers are dedicated to reach the national goal of running one million 'Yards for Yeardley' in one month. On October 27th, the Blazers reached their one million yard goal.

"This idea was brought to our program by our assistant coach Julia Coakley," said Elms College Head Coach Maureen Ruane. "The team has been participating in 5Ks, they have gotten together for Saturday runs and nightly workouts, so the team is training really hard. It's been a great team bonding exercise and this program is great for offseason training, but we chose October because it's domestic violence awareness month. Many in the student population don't realize that domestic violence, or dating violence, doesn't just involve physical violence, but other things like emotional possessiveness."

While raising awareness of relationship violence, The One Love Foundation also celebrates the life of Yeardley Love, a lacrosse student-athlete at the University of Virginia (UVA), who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend in the spring of her senior year, just weeks before graduation. In association with The One Love Foundation, the 'Yards for Yeardley' program was designed by the women's lacrosse players at both UVA and Boston College.

This spring will mark the six-year anniversary of Yeardley's death and running 'Yards for Yeardley' serves as a way for teams across the country to show support for The One Love Foundation and in remembrance of Yeardley Love.

For more information on The One Love Foundation, visit the program's official website at http://www.

The Blazers will open the 2016 season with a spring break trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for a pair of non-conference games.