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.)
Elementary and Middle Schools
To increase the athletic department’s involvement with the community.
- 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.
- 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.
Elementary and Middle Schools
To provide elementary and middle school students with the opportunity to visit a college campus and interact with college student-athletes.
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.
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.
- 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.
High School students
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.
- 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.
- 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.
High School students
To educate students about the life of a student-athlete.
- 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)
- 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.
Colleges and Universities
To recognize student-athletes for their work in the classroom and in the community.
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
- 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.
- Drug-Free Pledge
- Local Hospital Visits
- Half-Time Ceremony