National Student-Athlete Day
National Student-Athlete Day on April 6 honors all those students who manage to excel academically and athletically. Student-athletes are often pillars of their schools' communities, and many people look up to them, as they manage to achieve amazing things both in the field and in the classroom. As a student-athlete would probably say: the grind never stops!
History of National Student-Athlete Day
Founded in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), National Student-Athlete Day was created to celebrate the high school and college student-athletes who not only have achieved excellence in all their activities but also actively contribute to their communities and schools. The day has also gained the support of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Student-athletes that have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and who are involved in community service, receive a National Student-Athlete Day Award Certificate.
There are currently around 8 million student-athletes in the United States, and on average over 500,000 of them carry on their career to university level. Some of them even end up playing professionally.
Every year, the Institute for Sport & Social Justice (previously the NCAS) awards the Giant Steps Awards to student-athletes and coaches who have shown courage, overcome adversity, and were activists for the community through the power of sports. A selection committee nominates honorees nationwide.
What is a Student-Athlete?
A student-athlete is a full-time student that participates in organized competitive sports, in a team or individually, sponsored by their school. As well as being good at their sports, they also have to maintain a high GPA and make significant contributions to their communities and have a positive influence on other students.
Student-athletes that excel at their sport and in their studies are often offered scholarships to colleges and universities. If they are particularly talented at a particular sport, students can be offered a full-ride scholarship to keep playing that sport at a university level.
How to Celebrate National Student-Athlete Day
Support your student-athlete friends by letting them know how much you admire their dedication and ambition. At the same time, being a student-athlete and balancing school, practice and healthy social life can be difficult and stressful. Let them know you're there for them and don't forget to check on them every now and then, to make sure they're taking care of themselves. If you know a particularly excellent student-athlete, you can nominate them for the Giant Steps Award!
If you're a student-athlete, let this day motivate you to keep working hard and being an example for those around you. Think of new ways in which you can inspire other students, and pay back your community. At the same time, don't forget to take some time for yourself to relax and decompress.