FAIRBORN — Wright State student-athletes and the athletics department are hosting a Special Olympics Indoor Field Day at WSU’s Setzer Pavilion on Friday, April 14. As part of National Student-Athlete Day, the Raiders will also recognize the outstanding achievements made by Raider student-athletes.
Special Olympics was chosen by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as its special philanthropy project for the year, volunteering at several events throughout the year.
In its 30-year history, National Student-Athlete Day has honored over 4.3 million high school and college student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics (3.0+ grade-point average) and athletics, while having made significant contributions to their schools and communities.
Wright State was featured in the 2016 Ohio Civic Health Index Report for the effort of civic engagement in the community by student-athletes from the 2014-15 year. That giving spirit continued during the 2015-16 year as the Raiders gave more than 2,400 hours of community service. The current year has seen a great outpouring of volunteerism as well:
• Special Olympics Holiday Dinner Dance
• Track & Field/Cross country teams volunteered at the Dayton Food Bank
• Softball team volunteered at Habitat for Humanity to help build two houses
• Swimming & Diving teams conducted the Dayton Area Special Olympics Swim Meet
• Women’s tennis volunteered at Buddy Up Tennis event
• Volleyball helped at the Dayton Special Olympics Bowling Tournament
• Women’s basketball visited and worked at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan
• Men’s basketball worked at the Life Enrichment Center in Downtown Dayton
• Spirit Squad participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s
“We take giving back and community service very seriously and place an emphasis on it for the student-athletes,” WSU Director of Athletics Bob Grant said. “I am extremely proud of the fact that last year our student-athletes completed more than 2,400 hours of community service.”
Meanwhile, the WSU Athletics Department has provided the student-athletes with the superior opportunities and support for a strong level of academic and student-athlete development. That high level of department commitment was recognized by The National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) with the 2017 Model Practice Award. The 2017 N4A award will be presented on June 10 at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla.
• 45 consecutive terms of academic excellence with a collective 3.206 Grade-Point-Average in the Fall.
• WSU’s Graduation Success Rate from the NCAA was at 88%—an all-time high.
• Two programs landed top 25 votes nationally throughout their seasons (baseball, women’s basketball) after men’s soccer received a ranking in 2015.
• The Horizon League has honored many WSU student-athletes as player of the week as well as all-league and academic awards.
Although finding success on the field is important to the Wright State Athletics Department, their overall mission (P.S.A.) serves to treat their student-athletes as People first, Students second and Athletes third while creating a culture of personal development and over achievement.
“From an overall P.S.A. standpoint, we are as successful as we have ever been,” Grant said. “Our student-athletes are happier; better balanced, achieving at a high academic level and performing better athletically.”
The Special Olympics Indoor Field Day will begin at 12 noon on Friday at the Setzer Pavilion, followed by the baseball team hosting Tennessee-Martin at Nischwitz Stadium at 2 p.m. as Special Olympian Robbie Berkey will throw out the first pitch.
Story provided by Lee Barker III, WSU Athletic Media Relations (wsuraiders.com).