NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – GW Athletics and its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) were named the recipients of the inaugural Atlantic 10 Conference Assists Challenge on Wednesday, May 7. The Challenge was a yearlong community service initiative that encouraged the reporting of nearly 24,000 service hours by teams from 11 of the 13 A-10 institutions.
GW was declared the champion based on ‘institutional point value,’ which is determined through a formula that considers total community service hours completed, number of student-athletes participating and total number of student-athletes at the institution.
“As an athlete, you have a responsibility to give back to the community because the community is supporting you,” said GW women’s soccer senior and SAAC president Jane Wallis earlier this year. “You’re an ambassador for the school. It’s part of your brand to give back to something bigger than you.”
As a group, GW’s A-10 teams reported 5,130.75 hours of service toward the Assists Challenge, resulting in 29.83 points. Saint Joseph’s ended with 3,896 hours and 18.64 points to finish second and Duquesne had 3,475.5 hours, resulting in 18.34 points and third place.
“As leaders on campus, our SAAC outlined a vision from the beginning of the year to prioritize service to others,” said LifeSills Coordinator Ted Costigan. “GW student-athletes live out the mission of George Washington and have a ‘deeds not words’ attitude that extends across the D.C. community.”
Originating last fall by the Atlantic 10 SAAC, the A-10 Assists Challenge organized community service projects its member teams were engaged in into a fun and competitive activity that increased the visibility and awareness of the A-10 SAAC. The initiative, which accomplishes the A-10 SAAC’s goals of community service engagement and awareness also helps promote both the community service activities the student-athletes complete and the organizations and causes they are assisting. The result was nine of the institutions reported more than 1,000 hours of community service and five of those nine reported more than 2,000 hours. In all, 23,710.25 hours of community service were reported.
“We have amazing student-athletes in the Atlantic 10 — I commend them on having completed nearly 24,000 hours of community service. Volunteerism is an important initiative in this country and the Atlantic 10 Conference is proud to be giving back to each of our communities,” stated Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade.