As if experiencing your first Little 500 race isn’t exciting enough, I get the added bonus of cheering on some of my fellow Independent Council members as they take on Little 500 for the first time ever this year.
One reason I’m so excited for Little 500 (besides the fact that it’s the biggest college weekend ever) is because it’s an event that embodies Independent Council for Women at IU’s (IC’s) core values: friendship, leadership, service, acceptance and community. Friendship because already close bonds are strengthened between teammates and organization members who come together to support their riders. Leadership because riders become role models for the organization they’re representing. Service is displayed through the fact that Indiana University Student Foundation (IUSF) uses the profits from Little 500 to fund student scholarships. Acceptance because no matter who you are, you can come together and bond with anyone over your mutual love of Little 500. And last, but certainly not least, Little 500 intensifies IU’s already strong sense of community.
IC’s first annual Little 500 team:
Morgan Robertson, Jessica Mielke, Anna Chapman, Sandy Lam,
Geraldine Pattengale and Paige Robertson.
The team is coached by Nathan Harbison and Sally Young.
Independent Council, a social-philanthropic leadership organization for non-Greek women on campus, is an up-and-coming group whose mission is to empower all women. One of the ways that we are working to empower the women in our organization is through Little 500, which requires traits like strength, endurance, commitment, and support.
Our Independents have displayed all of these qualities through rigorous training consisting of biking and working out since early fall semester. They even gave up their relaxation time during Spring Break to take on Mississippi together to train. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.
Even those of us who aren’t physically participating in the race have been preparing by doing things to show support like ordering IC Little 500 t-shirts (yes our logo is the daisy, and yes there are daisies in the spokes of the bicycle on our shirts) and making signs to cheer on our riders during Quals and the actual race.
Speaking of Quals… WE’RE IN! Even though the already nerve-wracking day was made more intense by a delay due to standing water on the track, our team persevered and landed in 31st place on the Women’s Board. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but for our rookie team it’s an amazing feat and I’m so excited I’ll get to be a part of IC history, cheering on our first Little 500 team on April 24.
No matter what the outcome of the race is, I’m so proud of all our riders and coaches and everything they’ve accomplished this year. Through all of their hard work and positive attitudes, they have been amazing role models and representations of this organization that I’ve grown to love so much.
Happy Qualidays & Lots of IC Love!