In 1995, HSP was created by a handful of parents from Hingham who wanted to enhance the athletic experience for all students. The initial goal was to supplement, but not replace, existing funding for the booster clubs at the high school level. At the time, the board was particularly focused on assisting women's sports and supporting programs or teams that would give more students an opportunity to participate in sports. Over time, the mission of HSP broadened to support all athletic programs.
Twenty years later, HSP has grown to one of the largest fund-raising organizations of its kind on the South Shore and has an active board of 25 members. Today, more than $2,00,000 has been raised and reinvested back into Hingham's athletic programs by HSP.
The picture above is the renovated Hingham High School athletic complex. It was opened in the fall of 2013 after a complete overhaul was done of the tennis courts, track, fields, concession building, and stands. The addition of lights and a turf field rounded out the complex and truly has made this a crown jewel for our community. The athletic complex is used by our high school athletes as well as many of the youth groups in our community. HSP is proud of their support of this project raising $1,000,000 dollars and directly contributing the lead donation of $250,000.
Over the past decade, HSP donated start-up funds to Hingham Youth Tennis, Hingham Youth Volleyball, HMS field hockey program, HHS co-ed swimming, Harborwomen Hockey, girls golf program at SSCC, and HHS Crew. All of these sports have prospered at the high school and/or youth level and have added to the many banners hoisted proudly in the high school gym. These banners along with donations giving by the HSP to support the HHS Senior Athletic Awards night reflect how the organization aims at honoring the student-athletes at Hingham High School.
In 2014, HSP and the Hingham SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) teamed up to offer athletic and recreational activities for special needs kids in Hingham. This new venture is called South Shore SNAP (Special Needs Athletic Partnership).
Additionally, HSP sponsors three scholarships every year to graduating seniors at HHS who demonstrate the qualities of sportsmanship and leadership.
The Will McDonough Sportsmanship award is named in honor of the late Will McDonough who was one of the founders of the HSP and donated much of his time and support to the organization. Two $2500 scholarships are awarded to a female and male student-athlete each year from HHS.
The Midge Durgin Leadership award is named after the first President of HSP who helped to create and lead the organization for ten years. This is also a $2,500 scholarship given to one graduating senior leader each year from HHS who demonstrates vision, leadership and dedication to Hingham High School.
The Hingham Sports Partnership relies on three annual fundraisers. The Fashion Show in the fall, Comedy Night in late winter/early spring and the Tom Hoffman Golf Tournament in June. The proceeds raised at these events help to fund the scholarships, sponsorships and grants that HSP awards on an annual basis.
In the fall of 2014, HSP teamed up with CATZ to sponsor a Fit Living Fun Challenge for elementary school aged children. The fit challenge was held on Veteran's Day at the fields behind Town Hall. The proceeds of the event will be donated to the Hingham Veterans' Council.
Connie Gigon, the first secretary of the HSP, stated she felt as though she was a grandma to the HSP. Well, I think many people around town and now on the board would say she can be very proud of what her "grandchild" has accomplished and will continue to achieve for the future student-athletes in Hingham.