Student Athlete Day recognizes Mercer’s athletic teams

To recognize our outstanding
athletes and the contribution
they make to our school,
Student Athlete Day was held
at Mercer on April 10, 2013.
This has been a big annual
event for all of the student
athletes to get together. Mercer
has had this event for
many years. There is a National
Student Athlete Day,
which is annually held on
April 6th each year, and Mercer
tries to keep close to that
date for their celebration.
The Student Athlete Advisory
Committee (SAAC)
wanted to work with Big
Brothers Big Sisters so that
the event would allow some
children to participate in the
program.
Ms. Tina Graham, the Area
Program Manager and Manager
for the Big Brothers
Big Sisters of the Heart of
Georgia, wanted Mercer to
invite children who are currently
on the waiting list for
Big Brothers Big Sisters to
spend time with our student
athletes. These children and
their parents came out to enjoy
the celebration and had a
great time, according to Ms.
Graham. They played kickball
behind the softball fi eld,
talked about sports, received
t-shirts and had food.
When asked why this event
is important to have at Mercer,
Dr. Jeff Hugdhal, the
advisor for the Student Athlete
Advisory Committee
and Faculty Athletics Representative,
said, “As athletes
we all have role models and
today is a big opportunity to
give back to the community
and support our teams at the
same time. All the sports get
to step back away from the
fi eld.”
The Student Athlete Advisory
Committee helped to organize
this event and invited
everyone to come out to celebrate
including the children
from the Big Brothers Big
Sisters program. Another
person who was instrumental
was Patricia Ann Upson
also known as “P.A.” She is
a part of the Student Athlete
Advisory Committee and the
women’s soccer team.
The Student Athlete Day is
planned in such a way that
the event is in conjunction
with a major athletic game or
event.
This year’s game was the
softball game versus Georgia
Tech held at 6pm at Sikes
Field. There was defi nitely
cause to celebrate with the
softball team winning the
game 9-1.
All the student athletes
come out from all the sports
to participate in the celebration.
Mercer hosts sixteen intercollegiate
sports including
baseball, men’s basketball,
women’s basketball, men’s
cross country, women’s cross
country, men’s golf, women’s
golf, men’s lacrosse,
sand volleyball, men’s soccer,
women’s soccer, softball,
men’s tennis, women’s
tennis, women’s volleyball
and football.
Dr. Hugdhal says that “Each
year we celebrate the event
by getting all of our student
athletes together for food, fun
and fellowship. As the Faculty
Athletics Representative, I
supply the food, drinks and
t-shirts. The National Collegiate
Athletic Association
(NCAA) mandates that each
school have a SAAC, comprised
of student-athletes
from each of team.”
The committee emphasizes
communicating well with
the student athletes and the
athletics administration. This
system seems to work very
well at Mercer and keeps the
student athletes well-rounded
and integrated in the school
especially with events like
this. Mercer’s student athletes
get a chance to enjoy
each other’s company and see
their appreciation as valuable
members of the Mercer community.