The UNC Asheville Department of Athletics and its student-athletics contributed more than 2,000 hours of community service during the 2012-13 school year and hope to do even more next year.
Every team contributed during the year with the athletic department staff contributing time and energy to various projects.
“Our student-athletes really enjoy their community service projects,” stated Rebecca Nelms Keil, Director of Student-Athlete Services and Affairs. “It really helps develop the entire student-athlete, because you learn when you serve other people. These projects also help our student-athletes make personal connections to our community.”
The entire athletic department worked on several projects last year, including Move-In 2012 when more than 50 student-athletes, coaches and staff members helping moved freshmen into their residence hall last August.
In September, more than 40 student-athletes from different teams helped out with the Asheville Citizen-Times half-marathon. The student-athletes directed traffic, handed out water and cheered on the participants in the 5K race.
There was also Boofest 2012 when every team and athletic department staff member hosted a community event around Halloween for children to come to the Sherrill Center and play games. Each team came up with its own game and gave prizes to the winners. Everyone dressed in Halloween costumes.
From October until the end of the school year, student-athletes collected more than 1,000 pounds of canned foods for Manna Food Bank.
The sports of men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and women’s basketball all hosted Breast Cancer Awareness Games in which they collected funds. Each team wore pink in their respective contests to show their support for finding a cure for breast cancer.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) collected toys for Christmas for children beginning after Thanksgiving. This was done for the I Have a Dream Foundation in Asheville.
In April, 12 student-athletes along with Rocky helped the Cane Creek Middle school with their Fun Run to promote health and wellness.
Individual teams stepped up with some impressive projects throughout the year. The baseball team raised more than $14,000 for the Coaches vs. Cancer Foundation in the fight against childhood cancer. They also shaved their heads after their game with Western Carolina at McCormick Field to show support.
The volleyball team ran skills sessions for students at Eliada Homes and then spent three hours participating in the National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Women’s basketball hosted “Rocky’s Readers” with elementary schools in Asheville City and Buncombe County. The program consisted for Bulldog players and coaches going to schools and encouraging student to read books over the Christmas break. The team also hosted several clinics at Eliada Homes.
The women’s swimming team also helped out with the “Rocky’s Readers” program. In April, the team and coach offered free swimming lesson to all One Card holders for one hour Monday through Thursday.
Asheville’s cross country and track and field teams helped host the WNC Cross Country Carnival in the fall. They then participated in the Girls on the Run eight-week program that helped promote physical fitness through running.
Both tennis teams hosted Play Days for the community in both January and May. They also raised more than $2000 by selling old tennis balls. The proceeds went to the Brother Wolf Animal Rescue organization.