National STUDENT-Athlete Day is generally recognized April 6 nationwide, but can be celebrated throughout the months of March and April at NCAA colleges and universities. The day recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes who excel in the classroom, on the playing fields and who give back to their community through service projects.
Annually, the NCAA celebrates college athletes from Indiana schools at the national office with a day of service and development. The NCAA education and community engagement group will host its 8th annual National Student-Athlete Day celebration Tuesday, March 29 in Indianapolis.
National STUDENT-Athlete Day was created by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and the Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society, with partnership from the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations. NCAA involvement began in 1994.
In 2014, former University of Tennessee women’s basketball star Tamika Catchings shared her college and personal experiences to the assembled college athletes, athletics administrators, Indianapolis school children and NCAA staff. The group made no-sew blankets and get-well cards for The Cheer Guild of Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
In 2015, athletes, administrators and local youth packaged more than 20,000 nutritious meals that were donated locally to Gleaners Food Bank to benefit malnourished children and their families.
Additionally, the NCAA provides financial assistance and administrative support to the NCAS by providing colleges and universities with nomination forms for the Giant Steps awards and other pertinent materials to promote National STUDENT-Athlete Day. Go here to read the most recent award winners, which in 2014 included former Georgetown basketball player Dikembe Mutombo.
NCAA member institutions are encouraged to recognize outstanding student-athletes and to make National STUDENT-Athlete Day a meaningful experience by placing posters around their campuses and participating in community activities.
NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs) have created a variety of programs for National STUDENT-Athlete Day. Some SAACs do community outreach by visiting patients at local hospitals, while other SAACs speak to elementary or middle school students about the importance of education. Some SAACs have hosted luncheons to recognize the accomplishments of their peers, while other SAACs have hosted interactive assemblies at their campuses for local students.
To follow all the programs and events, search the hashtag #NatlSADay on social media.