No matter who you ask on campus, people have varying opinions on sports and what it means to be a student-athlete. Most would say that a student-athlete should devote an equal amount of time both on the field as in the classroom. Others would say to be sure to leave it all on the field. At Georgia College, our athletes are redefining what the student-athlete looks like. And they are getting noticed.
The Peach Belt Conference (PBC) recently presented Georgia College's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) the PBC SAAC Challenge award. This award is presented each year to an institution in the Peach Belt Conference who exemplifies resourcefulness, service, passion, balance, learning and sportsmanship. The conference takes several things into consideration when deciding who should receive the award such as community service and engagement events, percentage of students on honor roll and other criteria.
"This is a special award for our athletic department because it recognizes our hard work on our sports teams, in the classroom and community engagement, " said student-athlete Sydney Cleveland. "I think Bobcat Athletics stood out to the Peach Belt Conference because we are focused and determined on giving our best as student-athletes."
While the Bobcats have had a lot of success on the field, Georgia College continues to get recognized for the well roundedness of the athletic program as a whole. GC student-athletes consistently receive recognition for sportsmanship and academic success. This award is the next addition to a rich history of off the field recognition for the Bobcats.
"I believe Georgia College as an institution makes it a priority to help students acquire knowledge through their academics while also helping students grow into individuals who will be great leaders in the world. Georgia College is one of the top schools in Georgia, and when we decide to play a sport at this institution, it is clear that our athletic department is persistent on graduating champions."
Athletic Director Wendell Staton is excited that Georgia College's dedication to off the field success is getting recognized.
"We are so proud of our student-athletes and the balanced experience they have at Georgia College. Our core value is to recruit and retain students and staff that desire the Georgia College experience, and these multi-faceted efforts indicate that our culture is healthy and centered around holistic excellence."
As for Sydney, she is thankful for the opportunities collegiate athletics have given her. "It is evident that the most important aspect of being a student-athlete is that we use our sport as a tool to lead and grow, so that we may be impacts in the world once we leave our sport and Georgia College. As a senior on the women's basketball team, I am humbled and blessed to have had the opportunity to be a bobcat."