Inaugural HeartChase competition to benefit American Heart Association

On Sunday, you may witness teams of students scampering across campus, eyes peeled for colored cards; for they will be participating in the inaugural HeartChase competition and fundraiser, put on by the UConn Chapter of the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association is known for their annual Heart Walks, and has been working to create an event specifically for college campuses. UConn is among about a dozen organizations to pilot the HeartChase, according to chapter president Katie Boel.

The event will involve teams of between two and five students running between 10 checkpoints across campus, completing as many as possible in an hour and a half to earn points. Each checkpoint will contain a task related to promoting healthy living or heart disease awareness. Although only three teams can participate in a checkpoint at once, so players will have to employ strategy in earning a high score.

“There will be a hands free CPR checkpoint, and a relay race that informs students on what happens during a stroke. Some checkpoints will involve answering trivia questions,” Boel said.

In addition to the checkpoints, teams will also be looking for donation cards scattered about campus to collect for additional points. Teams will be able to keep track of their score using an original app. The team with the most points will win a grand prize that remains to be announced.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Registration is $10 for every individual, but they also seek donations on their own, similarly to HuskyTHON, according to Event Coordinator Segune Sekya. Every individual to raise $100 will receive a T-shirt. The person who raised the most money will also receive a prize. Additional prizes will be awarded for best costume, which contestants are being encouraged to compete in, and best team name. Boel said that some of the names already registered include “America’s Sweethearts” and “Cardioventure.”

“Right now we have over $6,000, which is awesome for our first year. We are getting a lot of support from organizations around campus,” Boel said. They are hoping to make HeartChase an annual event. “As an organization, we volunteer at Heart Walks in the fall, so this gives us something to do all year long.”

Forty teams have already registered, and more can join until Friday. HeartChase will kick off at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. For more information, visit http://www.heartchase.org.

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