Planning a National STUDENT-Athlete Day Event

The most meaningful way to honor student-athletes on National STUDENT-Athlete Day is by creating an event to recognize them on your campus or in your community. Although April 6 is the date that National STUDENT-Athlete Day is recognized, events can take place throughout the month of April.

Ideally an institution will hold an event for its own student-athletes or for elementary, middle or high-school students. Events for National STUDENT-Athlete Day can be held in a number of different ways, and smaller events can be just as successful as larger ones.

See the examples below about our suggested ideas: (Please see NCAA bylaws at the end of this section.)

Example Ideas:

Athletic Department Road Show

Audience:

Elementary and Middle Schools

Goal:

To increase the athletic department’s involvement with the community.

Activity:

  • Local administrators or Student-Athlete Advisory Committees organize a group of student-athletes to go out and mentor students at local elementary, middle schools, and/or other youth organizations that provide support for young people interested in athletics.
  • While mentoring at local campuses, student-athletes and athletic administrators should discuss the importance of balancing academics and athletics, key issues prevalent in athletics, and ways to enhance the student-athlete experience.
  • This outing can include a group activity (i.e. sports clinics) that encourages physical fitness and demonstrates more ways to enjoy sports.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Encourage and motivate students to continue to excel in academics and athletics.
  • Encourage and motivate parents, coaches, teachers, and schools to continue to support academics and athletics.
  • Increase public awareness of current issues in athletics.
  • Involve the athletic department in the promotion of academics, as well as athletics at local schools.
  • Identify means of enhancing the student-athlete experience with the community and provide students with positive athlete role models.
Field Trip to Your College Campus

Audience:

Elementary and Middle Schools

Goal:

To provide elementary and middle school students with the opportunity to visit a college campus and interact with college student-athletes.

Activity:

Invite elementary and middle school students from the community to take a campus tour and set-up workshops to visit with the athletic department and current student-athletes.

Sample Schedule:

8:30 – 9 am: Introduction and welcome from the director of athletics, university president, a female student-athlete and a male student-athlete. Begin the day with a stretching exercise or a sport demonstration to get students involved and enthusiastic.

9 – 10:30am: Educational workshops (e.g., discuss high-school graduation requirements, sportsmanship, goal setting and selecting a mentor) for students in attendance. The workshops are led by student-athletes from your campus.

10:30am – 12:30pm: A small group of elementary or middle school students are paired up with a current student-athlete from the campus and are given a campus and athletics facility tour, followed by lunch.

12:30 – 2pm: Students participate in a demonstration in the sport of your choice.

2 – 4pm: Students attend a sporting event held by the university or attend a practice of a sporting team.

Desired  Outcomes:

  • Provides elementary and middle school students with small group or one-on-one time with a college student-athlete.
  • Gives student-athletes an opportunity to interact with students from the surrounding community.
  • Establishes a relationship between student-athletes and elementary and middle school students.
College-Bound Student-Athlete Awareness Night

Audience:

High School students

Goal:

To educate students and their parents/guardians about campus support services, the life of a college student-athlete, NCAA initial-eligibility standards, and the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse.

Activity:

  • Solicit athletic department staff, student-athletes, coaches, institutional faculty and staff to assist in staging an information session on initial-eligibility, campus support services, and the life of a student-athlete.
  • Invite students from local high schools and their parents to attend.
  • Hold panel or roundtable discussions to allow for more interaction on the following topics:
    • Core courses
    • NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse
    • Initial-eligibility sliding scale for students seeking admission to a
    • Division I institution
    • Admission processes for student-athletes
    • Schedule demands for student-athletes
    • Campus support services
    • Financial aid application process and deadlines for your institution
  • Distribute copies of the NCAA Guide to the College-Bound Student-Athlete and clearinghouse applications.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Educate students and their parents about initial-eligibility standards.
  • Improve understanding of the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse and procedures for students and their parents which may eliminate delays in receiving certification status. Also, reduce the number of requests for initial-eligibility waivers.
  • Enhance the image of the athletic department in the local community.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to tour a college campus.
  • Encourage high school students to envision himself or herself on a college campus participating both academically and athletically.
  • Make students aware of support services available to them on college campuses.
Be a Student-Athlete for a Day

Audience:

High School students

Goal:

To educate students about the life of a student-athlete.

Activity:

  • Recruit a variety of student-athletes, different sports and ethnic groups to be “guides” for students visiting campus.
  • Solicit area high schools for student-athletes who are interested in spending a day on campus shadowing college student-athletes. (See your compliance officer regarding restrictions.)
  • Match college student-athletes and high school student-athletes by sport and gender. (Ideally, each college student-athlete should be assigned no more than two students.)
  • Shadowing activities can include the following:
    • Attend classes
    • Observe conditioning sessions or practice
    • Attend study hall
    • Attend team meeting (with coaches and athletic department’s permission)
  • Attend organizational meeting (with coaches and athletic department’s permission)

Desired Outcomes:

  • Increase student-athletes’ knowledge of the schedule demands for college student-athletes.
  • Provide high school students an opportunity to tour a college campus.
  • Provide student-athletes with an opportunity to be a mentor to a youth in the community and show off the campus.
Awards Luncheon

Audience:

Colleges and Universities

Why?

To recognize student-athletes for their work in the classroom and in the community.

Activity:

Invite coaches to select the top student-athletes from their teams to attend a luncheon hosted by the athletic department.

Guests should include the president of the university, vice president of student affairs, athletic director, athletic/academic support staff, student-athletes, parents, and community interest leaders.

Student-athletes should be presented with award certificates for:

  • Most improvement or sustained excellence in academics
  • Outstanding participation on an athletic team
  • Involvement in community service

Program may consist of any of the following:

  • Male and female student-athletes giving five-minute presentations regarding life as a student-athlete and acknowledging their support network
  • Support staff member highlighting the academic and life skills accomplishments of student-athletes during the year
  • Keynote speaker addressing the meaning of National STUDENT-Athlete Day

Desired Outcomes:

  • Increasing the awareness of programs and activities available to student-athletes on a college campus.
  • Communicating the achievements of student-athletes.
  • Developing a camaraderie among student-athletes and campus population.

Additional Ideas

  • Drug-Free Pledge
  • Local Hospital Visits
  • Half-Time Ceremony