This year is extra special because it marks the 10th anniversary of a popular Babson tradition, which encourages alumni athletes, parents of student-athletes, and Babson superfans to make a gift in support of the College’s student-athletes. For a decade, the Barefoot Challenge has helped provide funding for team travel, new training equipment and technology, assistant coach positions, leadership development, and mental health resources for student-athletes.
The Barefoot Athletics Challenge—initially funded by former Babson President Brian Barefoot ’66, H’09, P’01—is the biggest single fundraiser for Babson Athletics. To date, it has raised more than $1.2 million in contributions from more than 12,000 Babson alumni, family, and friends, and $90,000 in challenge prize money has been awarded. Last year, the Barefoot Challenge generated record numbers with 1,841 donors contributing $235,320.
With the addition of the women’s golf team for the next academic year, Babson will have 23 athletic programs. During the challenge, the men’s and women’s athletics teams—which include about one-quarter of the College’s undergraduate population—compete to help unlock $10,000 in challenge funds, and the team with the highest percentage of alumni donors receives an additional $5,000 in challenge funds.
It’s an exciting time for Babson’s winter sports teams, which advanced in postseason competition:
- The men’s basketball team (19-8) earned its third consecutive NCAA Division III tournament berth after defeating WPI, 59-53, Saturday in the final of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament. It is Beavers’ sixth conference tournament title and first since 2016. Babson will play Utica College at 5 p.m. Friday in Glassboro, N.J., in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
- The women’s basketball team (23-5) earned an at-large NCAA tournament bid after advancing to the NEWMAC tournament championship game, where Smith prevailed, 67-52, Sunday. The women will play host to an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1993 on Friday, when the Beavers, ranked No. 11/12, will face Maine Maritime Academy at 7:30 p.m. at Staake Gymnasium.
- The men’s ice hockey team (17-8-2) upended fifth-ranked Norwich University, 4-0, on the road in the semifinals of the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) tournament. For the second consecutive season, the Beavers advance to the NEHC championship game, where they will face second-ranked Hobart at 7 p.m. Saturday in Geneva, N.Y.
- The women’s alpine ski team won its first United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA) Eastern Regional championship on February 19 at Sugarloaf Mountain. The Beavers will compete in the NCAA regional championship Friday at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, N.Y.
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