Alumna Pioneered Softball at UNC, Followed by a Career at the Rockies
July 7, 2023
Sarai Atchison ‘19 has always had a passion for sports, but in college she took a more active role creating opportunities to play for herself and her classmates. Playing softball from fifth grade through the end of high school, she considered playing at University of Northern Colorado (UNC).
A huge fan of Harry Potter, Atchison instead decided to play for the UNC club quidditch team and found she enjoyed it. But when Atchison faced an injury, she began reflecting on the aspects of softball she missed and the environment of club sports she enjoyed. So, Atchison started UNC’s first club women’s softball team.
Atchison was responsible for covering the cost for launching the program the first year because club sports are ineligible for university funding until they can prove a demand for them. For a college student, when there is no guarantee of student interest in their club, that can be daunting.
Fortunately, students expressed great interest in club softball. The team grew to the point that Atchison stepped up and became the coach rather than a player. Through that experience, Atchison learned much about herself and what it meant to act in the best interest of others.
"That decision taught me a lot about leadership, and I had to go through a lot of personal growth,” said Atchison. “It was hard for me. I like being in the action, but if I wanted this to be successful, I couldn't be that way anymore."
As Atchison launched club softball at UNC, she was also pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Media Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. After graduation, she found two job openings with the Colorado Rockies' promotional team. The job description seemed tailored to what she was looking for.
Once hired, Atchison worked on the promotional team for a year before applying for her current role as account executive for Special Events and Theme Days. She attributes her development of necessary skills like communication and leadership to her education at UNC. Atchison built upon the strong foundation of her education at UNC while earning her master’s degree in Communications and Media Studies from University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
Now, Atchison is working on several exciting opportunities with the Rockies. Theme Days present a fun, new spin on traditional sporting events that appeal to a wide variety of people who might not watch baseball otherwise. The Rockies’ most successful theme day is their Star Wars Day, but there's a new day coming up this year.
"This is the first year for Harry Potter night, and that wasn't even my idea." She says, referencing the Harry Potter tattoo on her arm and her time playing quidditch at UNC.
“Because we brought Harry Potter on, Warner Brothers has given us a bunch of things to transform our ballpark. I'm excited to see how it'll look,” said Atchison. “I want to eventually bring Harry Potter night to that Star Wars-level where anybody and everybody can enjoy it.”
Atchison is excited to continue working with the Rockies, pursuing her love of sports and also elevating the experiences of everyone who walks into Coors Field. She can’t wait to see how she grows and develops into the most resilient version of herself.
— written by Tamsin Fleming