Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wittenberg SAAC Receives $6000 Initiative Grant From NCAA

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Wittenberg University is a proud institution dedicated to the development of the entire person. Toward that end, the Wittenberg Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has been awarded a Division III Initiative Grant from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to develop programs that will enhance the welfare of the university’s nearly 600 active student-athletes each year.

Titled “The Wittenberg Way,” the program will focus on four primary objectives in the coming years:

Help freshmen adjust to becoming a collegiate student-athlete in a friendly and fun environment;
Educate incoming freshmen on the tradition of Wittenberg athletics and what it means to be an athlete on a college campus. It will address issues and topics specific to being a student-athlete;
Educate student-athletes and coaches through relevant, engaging seminars and events;
Unite student-athletes on campus through events and activities.
The NCAA offers annual initiative grants to support the educational and professional development of students, faculty, staff and administrators at its more than 430 Division III member institutions and conferences. According to SAAC Adviser Tooti Snider, assistant to the director of athletics and recreation, the aforementioned objectives fit neatly into her goals for the organization, namely to help students adjust to college life while gaining knowledge in such areas as nutrition, campus diversity, academic development and sport psychology.

“Through this grant, the athletics department plans to educate student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and the student body on issues related to the college experience through engaging seminars and events,” Snider said. “This is a great opportunity for our student-athletes to get involved with other groups on campus and work collectively to bring in speakers and programs that are relevant to all college students.”

SAAC is an organization that helps student-athletes find their way as both students and athletes, and this $6,000 grant will go a long way toward helping individuals at Wittenberg excel in both areas. Along with the broader issues, the funding has already allowed for new campus programming.

“One of SAAC’s goals is to bring student-athletes together to create more support between teams,” Snider said. “This grant will allow us the opportunity to create and implement programs to support that goal through various events and activities.

“With this grant, we were able to provide the first ever freshmen orientation for student-athletes. Providing the incoming student-athletes with a friendly, fun and educational experience is an important piece of their success as student-athletes on the Wittenberg campus.”

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