For the Ball State football program, their summer training isn’t just about preparing for the fall season, it’s about strengthening the support for Riley Children’s Hospital.
“Squat for Riley was really a special experience, raising more money for kids who need it and families who need it in our own state,” wide receiver Riley Miller said.
Every summer, the Cardinals strength and conditioning staff tests each athlete in various drills and exercises. One of those tests is a max single rep back squat. The community is encouraged to get involved in supporting those athletes to set new personal best. Fans can sponsor an athlete by donating per pound that player squats in the “Squat for Riley” test or donate a flat amount to the cause.
"We actually have a couple of coaches on staff who have had Riley kids, people in our athletic department, so you hear about it all the time,” Ben Armer, BSU football’s director of strength and conditioning, said. “The more you hear about it and the more it impacts you, and it was just something we wanted to add into a small thing that we do with our football team."
Knowing that each effort is doing more than just preparing them physically to kick off the football season on August 31 against in-state rival Indiana has motivated the athletes to work even harder.
"There's a lot of energy and a lot of emotion that goes into wanting to break a personal record and not only that but doing it for a different reason,” Miller explained. "That's kind of what we are striving for when we are trying to provide a donation and trying to give them the best chance to be a normal kid, you know run around in the yard, play on the swing set.”
The second annual “Squat for Riley” event will be held June 27. You can donate or find more details through this link.
"If we can create awareness alone, but we can create a lot of awareness, that in itself is going to do something,” Armer added. “The other way is through donations. I would love to see a $10,000 dollar donation this year as a goal and I want that to increase every single year.”
"We are very blessed to be where we are so we want that chance for every other kid,” Miller said.
You can follow the event on social media with the hashtag, #Squat4Riley19.