Student-Athletes to Embark on International Service Trip

MANHATTAN, Kan. – A group of sixteen K-State student-athletes and four staff members are teaming up with Courts for Kids for a nine-day international trip to Costa Rica this summer that will provide the group a once-a-lifetime service opportunity.

The “Cats Across Continents” team will depart Manhattan for Linea, Vieja, Costa Rica, on May 17 and spend nine days experiencing the culture and working with the local community and Courts for Kids teammates building a multi-purpose sports court from the ground up. The court will be utilized by area youth, physical education teachers in addition to being a landing place for community events.

“A trip such as this is another example of how we are committed to enhancing the overall student-athlete experience at K-State,” said Cori Pinkett, director of student-athlete development. “Our partnership with Courts for Kids and this trip allow us to provide an opportunity for student-athletes to conduct service work internationally while also learning and experiencing the culture and country. To be fully engrained into a community for nine days will be a life-changing experience for our team and something we are all looking forward to.”

In addition to building a multi-purpose sport court, the trip will provide many cultural experiences which will include language education, a cooking exchange session in addition to other activities.

“This will be my first time going to another country so I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m looking forward to really understanding and seeing their culture,” said football senior student-athlete Dante Barnett. “All I know is the American way, so going somewhere else and learning their culture is going to be really fun.”

“I am looking forward to learning a new culture and really emerging myself in it,” added rowing student-athlete Noelle Dykmann. “I’m excited to learn how they live, to step outside of myself, get out of my own comfort zone and learn how someone else lives.”

K-statesports.com and K-StateHD.TV will be along to follow the experience, so fans will have the opportunity to view updates from the trip. Also, stay tuned for an in-depth K-State Sports Extra feature on the trip as the team prepares for departure on May 17.


Student-Athletes Attending
•    Iva Bago, women’s tennis
•    Dante Barnett, football
•    Livia Cirmu, women’s tennis
•    Megan Deines, women’s basketball
•    Noelle Dykmann, women’s rowing
•    Kennedy Felice, women’s rowing
•    Madi Haney, women’s rowing
•    Nicholle Hatton, equestrian
•    Paige Kemper, equestrian
•    Gretchen Koenen, equestrian
•    Miranda Larkin, women’s soccer
•    Shaelyn Martin, women’s basketball
•    Erin Smith, women’s track and field
•    Dane Steen, men’s track and field
•    Steven West, football
•    Tyler White, football