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WVU student athletes give back to the Morgantown community


WVU Today

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Through a wide-range of activities with organizations and groups of all ages, West Virginia University student-athletes performed more than 460 hours of community service on Saturday in WVU’s first Student-Athlete Day of Service.

The event was organized by West Virginia’s Student-Athlete Development staff, a staff that strives to create comprehensive success across every aspect of the college experience for its students. As representatives of the athletics department, the student-athletes understand the importance of influencing those in many different facets of life and use their placement in the community as a channel to help others.

“We were very excited about our first WVU Athletics’ Day of Service,” said Tangela Cheatham, WVU’s Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement. “In an effort to continuously give back to our community, supporters and friends, we wanted to take a few short hours to make Morgantown a better place. Our student-athletes were able to gain a better sense of appreciation for themselves and the people who love to watch them compete. We’ll look to continue this event annually and watch it continue to grow.”

More than 200 Mountaineers from 10 different teams completed more than 460 hours of community service on Saturday. The total number of hours created an average of nearly three hours of service for each student-athlete.

The men’s basketball program planted flowers outside of the Sundale Nursing Home, while the football team participated in Community Clean-Up Day, picking up trash in city parks and along the rail trail, with representatives from city commissions and neighborhood coalitions.

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams volunteered at the Coopers Rock Foundation, as well as the Old Hemlock Foundation. While at Coopers Rock, the Mountaineers worked to clean up the picnic area. The swimmers and divers also removed leaves and debris from the trails while working with the Old Hemlock Foundation.

The tennis program helped put in a community garden at Bartlett Housing Solutions, Inc., while the wrestling team worked in North Elementary’s garden by spreading and transporting mulch, weeding and planting flowers. Men’s soccer also performed general maintenance and cleanup around the WVU Core Arboretum.

Additionally, the volleyball program helped assist with children activities at Mason-Dixon Historical Park, while gymnastics played games with the residents at Mapleshire. Rifle also assisted Kroger with Take Back Day, collecting expired or unneeded prescription drugs.

“Service means a lot to this team and this department,” said Jordan McCabe, a freshman on the Mountaineer men’s basketball team. “The community is so supportive of us, so it’s nice to go out and give back to them. It’s a lot of fun, and it feels good.”

Community service is a meaningful part of West Virginia University Athletics and the mission of all 17 teams on campus. Creating a bond between the athletic department’s 500 student-athletes and different sectors of the community is a significant piece to creating a world-class experience on campus. And with more than 2,800 hours of service completed in the past year, West Virginia teams are leaving their mark on much more than the success in competition arenas.

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