When we speak about our student-athletes, we generally focus on three areas: academics, athletics and community service. As we near the end of another year, we want to share some of the impressive things our student-athletes have done to assist in bettering our community.
During the course of the year, our student-athletes contributed over 3,281 hours of community service and almost 90 percent of our student-athletes participated. They took part in a number of different projects including appearances, speaking engagements, reading opportunities and autograph sessions and were able to reach over 13,000 people. In addition, our student-athletes executed a variety of programs and events:
1. Journey Journals – Student-athletes created journals to distribute at Diamond Children’s Medical Center
2. Pen Pal Letters – Student-athletes exchanged letters with classrooms around Tucson. If interested in taking part in Pen Pals, youth and teachers can learn more about our Classroom Cats Program by clicking HERE.
3. Trick My Bike – Student-athletes partnered with Parking & Transportation and the Office of Sustainability and Facility Management to refurbish bikes to distribute to community schools in order to promote health and wellness and bike safety
4. Shoe Drive – In collaboration with our S’Cool Cats Program, student-athletes and the department donated shoes, while partnering with local elementary schools to secure smaller shoes for donation (VIDEO)
5. Movember – The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee supports Movember to raise awareness for men’s health
6. Cats Give Back 2016 – Achieved the department goal of 500 hours of community service in January
7. Team Impact – Teams are partnered with a child facing a life-threatening illness to create a positive and uplifting support group for the child and their family
8. PAL (Peer Athletic Leaders) Leadership Summit – Student-athletes partnered with the UA Military Outreach Extension to teach leadership skills to middle school students from around Southern Arizona (VIDEO)
We firmly believe there are responsibilities that come with being a student-athlete at Arizona and assisting in the community is one of them. Fortunately, we have student-athletes who don’t see it as something they have to do, but rather something they get to do. So often, our young men and women explain that although they are the ones seen as making an impact, they’re actually the ones being impacted.
We want to congratulate and thank all of the student-athletes who participated this year. Of note, the gymnastics team earned the Athletics Director’s Cup for Community Service, our team award. The GymCats averaged 38 hours of community service per squad member to edge out women’s swimming and diving and softball. Swimming and diving’s Emma Schoettmer (68.25) produced the most volunteer hours of any student-athlete, while track and field’s Avery Mickens (50.25 hours) tallied the most out of our men.
As always, our student-athletes will continue to seek out volunteer opportunities in the Tucson community. If you know of a non-profit that would benefit from working with our student-athletes, please click HERE to access our online request form.
To take a closer look at some of our community service opportunities this year, watch the video below: