With more than 700 athletes and 80 coaches on 30 teams to keep track of, the Georgetown University Athletic Department has a lot on its plate.
Thanks to each member of the office, student-athletes, coaches and staff members are dressed and prepared to play, travel and work.
Renee DeMaio (COL ’24), a mathematics and Chinese double major from Hong Kong, is involved in various communities and spaces on campus. She salsas for Ritmo y Sabor, the Latin dance team; cheers on athletes as a member of Hoya Blue; walks the runway for the student-run fashion show Diamanté; welcomes students for the first-year reflection program ESCAPE; and guides students as a peer advisor.
In addition to her many extracurriculars, DeMaio works tirelessly as a student manager of the Athletic Equipment Office, primarily for the men’s and women’s soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, field hockey, baseball and softball teams.
The office is in charge of cleaning, ordering and distributing team gear and equipment, according to DeMaio, who works for the office 10 to 20 hours a week.
In addition to this job, DeMaio also works for Georgetown Sports Medicine, the ticket office, and many other internal offices for the university.
DeMaio said her work supports student-athletes during practices and games.
“My typical shift always involves doing laundry which includes the athletes’ loops and the towel service we provide,” she said in an interview with The Hoya. “I’ll usually get teams ready for games by preparing their uniforms and any other gear they may need.”
DeMaio said although the work can be hard it is rewarding to see how it impacts the Athletics Department.
“It’s hard work. And sometimes a lot of tedious work,” DeMaio said.
While the work of DeMaio and her co-workers can be easily overlooked, it is crucial for the day-to-day operations of each of these teams.
The Athletics Equipment Office’s dedication to the Athletic Department itself is evident in its commitment to ensure everyone has all they need — no matter the time of day or personal inconvenience.
DeMaio has three bosses: Nick Venturino, Sarah Kanuch and Andy Priddy. When student-athletes have any issues, they all work together to find uniforms, order gear or adjust sizing.
Even when they are not in the Thompson Athletic Center or McDonough Arena folding towels, tracking orders delayed by COVID-19 or doing laundry, DeMaio said her bosses are always thinking of the student-athletes and athletics’ staff.
“My bosses almost always have to be on call. If a team wants something for 11 a.m. on a Saturday and it’s 6 p.m. on a Friday, we have to deal with that and do our best to get it for them,” DeMaio said.
DeMaio said she is grateful her bosses create such an inclusive environment.
“They have also created an accepting environment where we can learn about how equipment in the sports world works and enjoy college athletics. True kudos to them for being able to do everything,” she said.
In addition to DeMaio and her three bosses, five other students work for the Athletics Equipment Office. Having such a small team places significant responsibility on each employee, DeMaio said. Despite this heightened responsibility, the office maintains an enjoyable environment.
“The culture of the office is very fun, chaotic and very much going with the flow,” DeMaio said.
Since starting the job during the spring of her first year at Georgetown, DeMaio said she has learned various skills, such as decalling the stickers from men’s lacrosse helmets or heat pressing patches onto uniforms.
Given the many demands of the office, DeMaio said she strives to do her best everyday.
“I do my best to step up and handle things that I know how to do, which I’m grateful is a list that grows everyday, but again, there’s only so much I can do.”
Though work is hard and fast-paced, DeMaio said she enjoys it.
“The best part of any shift is when someone we know and adore stops by to say hi and joke around,” she said “We spend a lot of time in the equipment room and not as much time doing stuff directly with the teams, so those moments are a nice reminder of why we are doing all what we are.”