Collegiate athletes are known to score record-breaking touchdowns and unparalleled winning streaks, but what happens when they step off the court? For T-Bird student athletes, from the gymnast to the runner, they fill their time with service.
With an already full schedule of studying and practicing, these student athletes put in an additional 4,500 service hours during the last academic year resulting in winning the 2013-2014 Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Conference Cup as announced by the Big Sky Conference on Friday, May 2, 2014.
In the two main SAAC events during the academic year, Thunderbird student athletes raised 2,275 school supplies and $500 in quarters. Southern Utah shared the award with Weber State as the Wildcats led school supply donations with a league-best of 5,771 items.
Along with two Big Sky sanctioned events, students athletes received service hours by volunteering at local schools, visiting area senior centers, participating at high school track meets, cleaning up public areas and raising money for area schools and national institutions.
Jill Mahoney, SUU women’s basketball coach and SAAC advisor said of the student athletes, “These students thrive on helping their community because they notice the support they constantly receive and they are just hoping to give a little back to Cedar City.”
She went on to say that the 26 students involved in SAAC, and the hundreds other students athletes on SUU’s campus, are gaining vital skills that will develop the athletes into top shelf students and then professionals.
One of these students is Brittany Jensen, a gymnast and also an exercise science major, who is next year’s SAAC president. She said of SUU’s SAAC winning the conference cup, “It is really amazing to see all of us student athletes receiving this recognition and to show that we are more than athletes.”
In total, Big Sky Conference athletes provided more than 25,000 hours of community service, raised more than $5,000 in a quarters drive and collected more than 12,000 school supplies during this last academic year.