When we established the SPRTER College Impact Awards (formerly the Athlete CRUSH College Impact Awards), we set out on a mission to recognize and support some of the most selfless collegiate sporters from across the nation. While ALL of the submissions were awesome, there was one person’s charitable tenacity that was unmatched.
The story of John Garriques, Centenary University men’s wrestling coach, our 2021 Catalyst Award winner, is one where others always come first. John’s passion to aid others truly sets him apart. Jacky Best, who nominated John, said, “Coach always puts his family first, team second, and his community third. The Team’s Motto is “Live the Good Life”, which means be Kind, Respectful, Give back, Be Grateful, and relentless in everything you go after in Life.”
John has been known for helping the community church with events, helping the elderly, and for uncovering the town after a big snowstorm. He even started a free wrestling club for kids who could not afford to be on a team and he has gotten proclamations for his help in the community for the past 15 years.
We had the chance to speak with John and ask about his passion for helping others:
Hi John! Congratulations on winning this year’s SPRTER College Impact Catalyst Award. Could you please tell us a little bit about your upbringing and how this shaped you into the caring person you are today?
“When I was young I had a speech Impediment, so I was always more sensitive to people’s feelings, and in helping.. Being the baby of seven, 4 boys 3 girls also helped in many ways, learned to fend for myself at an early age, and through life have seen many different paths taken. I was also always the peace maker in my family, so helping was kind of second nature.”
It’s clear you have a passion for helping others – could you tell us about the charity projects you have been involved with?
“Habitat for Humanity, Walk a mile in her shoes, A night to Shine, I was the volunteer Anti-bullying coordinator at Centenary. Smile for Margaret, Meals on wheels, Canned food raiser, Shave your head in honor of pediatric Cancer, got most of our team ro do so, Helped start the Trinity Church Trunk or Treat, stocking Trinity Churches pantry, Shoveling Snow for the residents of Hackettstown, have been doing this for 12yrs, only missed 5 snow storms. Free Wrestling Clinics, started and ran first free Wrestling Club at the Firth Youth Center, which is for kids that couldn’t afford it, help the town of Hackettstown remove snow from Fire Hydrants.”
Where do you get your inspiration and drive to help others?
“My drive, and passion is to spread positive messages, in a world that promotes so much negative news. I believe in Karma, the more good you put out there, the more good comes back… Our Motto is “Live The Good Life” Be Humble, Grateful, Hold doors for people, give back to your community, and relentless in everything you do in life.”
You’ve already got such a great story – what are you hoping to achieve in the future and what would you like to be remembered as?
“I would like to be remembered as a good role model, someone that fights for the kids, and gives back to their communities. Our goal as a team is to be top 4 in the NCAA, and bring home Centenary’s first NCAA National Champion. I hope to do this all while continuing to give back, and continue to teach my athletes the importance of being involved in your communities.”
John wants his winning donation to go to Centenary University Wrestling Team as it will help them to continue to spread positive messages, and buy new shovels! If you want to contribute to John’s and our efforts in supporting the Centenary University Wrestling team, please reach out to us!
We present to you our 2021 SPRTER College Impact Catalyst Award Winner, John Garriques!
Make sure to follow him and the Centenary University Wrestling team on SPRTER, Instagram, and Twitter to follow their future endeavors!
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