April is all about celebrating student athletes. April 6 is National Student Athlete Day where the NCAA recognizes athletes not only for their commitment to athletics but their academics and community engagement as well.
April 3 through April 9, 2017 is Division III week.
And from April 24 through April 28, Castleton is launching the Spartan Giving Challenge, which will be run similarly to Giving Tuesday and benefit Castleton sports teams.
Molly DeMellier, who is spearheading the campaign, wants to use this challenge to encourage student giving.
“Gifts of $10 or more are counted, so if we have about 700 athletes on campus and they all gave $10 that would be $7,000,” DeMellier explained.
Teams will be competing against each other to get the most donations, made fair by using a ratio to their roster total, but student gifts are counted one and-a-half times in that ratio to make them more important to the teams.
Students like junior Olivia Maher are getting involved with the challenge in other ways too.
“This semester, I’m doing an independent study under Molly and the Spartan Shield Society to learn and interact with the ins and outs of athletic communication and marketing. For her, I’m currently putting together the promotional video for the Spartan Giving Challenge happening at the end of this month and so far it’s been a blast,” Maher said.
Maher has been trying to change around what other colleges have done because they had game clips with voiceovers but not a lot of actual student athletes for their promos.
“I was able to write the script and together we reached out to athletes to participate in helping spread the word to their teams and community about the challenge. For the video, so far, we’ve had around six athletes suit up in their teams jerseys and read lines to a camera… It’s been a lot of fun working so closely with them and capturing their energy on camera,” she said.
If nothing else gets the athletes interested in trying to get donations, the team that gets the most donations will get a grand prize of $2,500 added to their account. Rich and Nancy Glasscock and Bryan DeLoatch ‘85, a member of the Castleton Athletics Hall of Fame, donated the $2,500.
In an interview with the Spartan Shield Society, Associate Dean for Athletics and Recreation Deanna Tyson explained what the donations do for students.
“The funding that we get from donations helps our student-athletes have a better experience while they are here competing as a Spartan. Whether that means helping to pay for a trip down south for our spring sports to get out onto the field or purchasing team gear for our student-athletes to wear on the road while they are representing Castleton University, it is very beneficial to all of our programs,” Tyson said.
The Spartan Giving Challenge results will be announced by May 5 and the campaign is mostly digital. Coaches will be sending out emails to alumni of their teams to try and get as many donations as possible. Like with Giving Tuesday, people will be able to challenge their classmates and friends on their own social media once they donate.
Keep an eye out for #SpartansGive2017 across Castleton’s social media.