Eugene, Ore. -- In the fall O Heroes collected 240 sports bras for female athletes in West Ambrym, Pacific Islands through their month-long Support Sport initiative. The drive was led by Brooke Strawn, a freshman on the women’s soccer team, who recognized female athletes’ need for sports bras on the island.
Over winter break, Strawn flew to West Ambrym to meet with her sister Kristen Strawn, an Oregon alum and active Peace Corps member, and they surprised the village women with the collected sports bras. Upon arrival at the village, they were greeted by the chief. Brooke Strawn was honored at a ceremonial thank you celebration called salu-salu. After the ceremony, they first distributed the sports bras to the island’s female soccer team and then to the remaining village girls and women.
The sports bras that the Lane County community donated to the Support Sport initiative enabled the female athletes of West Ambrym to participate in sports more comfortably and enhanced the everyday lives of the village women as a whole.
Although there was a language barrier, Strawn said, “I could tell that they [appreciated] the sports bras because they were laughing and smiling and just having a good time.”