By Anne Bello
Published Jan 15, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Jan 14, 2010 at 10:24 PM ET

Cambridge, MA — The Harvard women’s team has traveled to India for a service and training trip, and players are blogging about their experience at GoCrimson.com. In the first post, first-year player Vidya Rajan describes the team’s excitement:

Excitement is in the air as the Harvard women’s squash team prepares for its trip to India to train and do community service before the second half of the season ensues, bringing with it arguably some of the team’s toughest competition.

With a squad of 15 talented players from areas spanning the globe and the United States, the team currently holds a 4-0 record and a place atop the national College Squash Rankings. Despite undeniable success, however, the team is far from complacent; instead, members view the international trip as an opportunity to learn and develop. “There are many things the entire team will take away from this trip,” said co-captain Johanna Snyder. “Most importantly, I think we will learn a lot about each other, about the flourishing and beautiful culture of India, and hopefully a few new squash tips.”

In India, the team will travel to Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Chandigarh, playing matches against the top local players as well as working with and teaching squash and doing academic tutoring to underprivileged children. The significant portion of the trip dedicated to community service—four days out of the 11—is what makes the journey especially noteworthy; the Harvard team’s purpose in India reaches far beyond simply playing squash for themselves. The team is already making a difference in India since the coaches packed up a lot of our squash gear and clothing from the equipment room and sent it over to the children we will be working with. “I’m really excited to play squash and do some academics with the kids from India,” said co-captain Katherine O’Donnell. “Playing squash is something that has so positively impacted my life, and will hopefully do the same for them.”

The team has been posting photos from the trip, and several players have written about their adventures in Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi, including a match against some of the top players in India. Fans can follow the team’s trip on the official Harvard team website.

2009 - 2010 Harvard Women's Trip to India (Photo Courtesy of Chris Smith)

2009 - 2010 Harvard Women's Trip to India (Photo Courtesy of Chris Smith)