Returning to GoCrimson.com for a fifth season, "Around The Yard: Life As A Harvard Student-Athlete" explores life away from the playing fields for select Harvard student-athletes through their own first-person narrative. For a full list of blog entries, click here.
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March 27, 2019
My name is Olivia Ostrover and I am a junior forward on the field hockey team. Off the field, I concentrate in the History of Science and live in Winthrop House, but perhaps my most meaningful involvement on campus comes from working with the One Love Foundation. The One Love Foundation was established in 2010 after Yeardley Love, a student-athlete at UVA was tragically murdered by her ex-boyfriend just weeks away from graduation. Her friends and family were absolutely shocked; they thought the killing was a random act of violence but as the trial unfolded, they realized that there had been warning signs and red flags along the way. In fact, relationship violence impacts every 1 in 4 women, and those between 16 and 24 are at a 3x higher risk. Yeardley’s family decided to establish this charity to educate young adults about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and to reduce these sobering statistics.
My journey with One Love began in the summer of 2017 when my dad heard about this tragic story. As a father of three daughters, he was particularly touched by Yeardley, a beautiful, smart, athletic girl with the world at her fingertips, whose life was abruptly cut short. As a parent, it was his worst nightmare. He told me to check out the organization online, and when I did, I was shocked. I myself am a student-athlete at Harvard. But I am also a young woman at college. How had I never heard of this? From that moment forward, I knew that I had to be involved. I enlisted the help of my friend Sophie Barry, and together, we were on a mission to bring this incredible organization to our campus.
That September, we facilitated an Escalation Workshop for students to discuss a One Love film and apply their past experiences to what they had just seen. Then in October 2017, we hosted a SoulCycle charity ride for One Love that raised more than $12,000. In the spring of 2018, we worked with the athletic department to create a powerful video with 20 plus student-athletes, asking them how they planned to support healthy relationships on their teams in the coming season. Lastly, this past winter, we recruited different varsity teams to dedicate a home game in the month of February to supporting the One Love Foundation. This brought together 9 different teams and over 200 athletes, all of whom wore bracelets and pins bearing the One Love Foundation’s logo. Looking ahead, we were planning another fundraiser called Yards for Yeardley, more educational workshops, and would like to organize a charity team for the Boston Marathon in April 2020.
Relationship violence is a terrible tragedy, one experienced by far too many women and men. But as One Love has taught us, the situation is not hopeless Change just requires people like us talking, caring, and taking a stand. By speaking about the problem, we are giving a voice to people who may be afraid or embarrassed. It empowers those people who feel isolated by their dysfunctional relationships. Sophie and I are proud and honored to carry on the light and kindness that Yeardley possessed, and by working for One Love, our own lives have become that much brighter.