During his time in the Army, Will Younkin, a biomedical engineer at AAMC, enjoyed with his fellow soldiers what he calls “esprit de corps.”
“It’s a phrase that means unity, brotherhood,” he says. Will applies this same concept to his teammates at AAMC.
“We depend on each other at the hospital and work toward a common goal: caring for patients and families,” he says.
About three years ago, Will had an idea for how to capitalize on this work camaraderie. Partnering with EnergizeSM, AAMC’s wellness movement, Will sent out an email asking who might be interested in forming a work softball team.
“We immediately got 56 responses,” says Will, with a smile.
So they started with two softball teams. Now, three years later, 180 employees (including some friends and family members) represent “Team AAMC,” competing on three softball teams and two kickball teams. The teams have done well, winning two recreation league championship titles.
“There are two rules to follow,” Will says. “Rule #1: Show up. And rule #2: Have fun.”
People from a wide spectrum of physical ability as well as job roles—from housekeepers to nurses and doctors to executives—all play together.
“People who previously didn’t interact at the hospital now see each other and talk about how they’re going to beat a certain team this weekend,” says Will.
Playing a team sport has encouraged other healthy habits in employees.
“I know one person who is playing after having a double knee replacement. Others have started running 5K races, something they previously didn’t believe was possible,” he says.
What’s next for AAMC team sports? “We just started an indoor volleyball team,” says Will. And he’s looking into organizing some training for extreme sports like the Warrior Dash.