Report Reveals 2010-11 Wake Forest Student-Athletes Gave Back in Strong Numbers
A total of 330 athletes, or 77 percent, of Wake Forest student-athletes pitched in an average of 7.4 hours each in during the 2010-11 academic year.

Aug. 4, 2011

2011 NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Community Report

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest Department of Athletics has announced its 2011 NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills (Challenging Athletes' Minds for Personal Success) Community Report.

Across all sports, Demon Deacon student-athletes put in 2,444.5 hours of community service during the 2010-11 academic year. A total of 330 athletes, or 77 percent, of Wake Forest student-athletes pitched in an average of 7.4 hours each.

"The Pro-Humanitate spirit of Wake Forest is honored in the Athletic Department through the volunteer efforts of our student-athletes and staff," said Athletic Director Ron Wellman. "We recognize how fortunate we are and believe it is important to help those who are less fortunate than us."

The report highlighted three programs, including "Eat with the Deacs," which occurs monthly during the school year, and allows children's groups from the community the opportunity to visit campus for a tour and a pizza party with WFU student-athletes. The event focuses on dedication in the classroom as a driving factor for personal success.

Another large undertaking, "Santa's Helper," a non-profit put together 25 years ago by a WFU football player, involves holiday gift giving on a massive scale. Volunteers - including student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators - spend two days acquiring and wrapping thousands of presents each December for over 300 families and 1,000 children in the greater Winston-Salem area.

The past two years, Wake has also sponsored a Habitat for Humanity house. Several Demon Deacon teams have taken weekends off their busy schedules to help with construction efforts. In the fall of 2010, six sessions of building were taken care of by an assortment of teams.

Other highlighted programs in the report include: Project Pumpkin, D.E.S.K., Special Olympics, Sports Spectacular, Read Across America and the Skip Prosser Literacy Program.

In the spring semester of 2011, the Wake Forest CHAMPS/Life Skills program introduced a new facet of community service to the already-dedicated Deacs - the CHAMPS Cup. The new competition is meant to be a fun and easy way to track volunteer hours and provide a sense of personal accountability for teammates.

In the cup, student-athletes compete for points in several different categories based on the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program tenets: community outreach, enhancement programs, athletes supporting athletes at sporting events, athletic achievement, academic achievement and, "above and beyond." The inaugural 2011 winning squads were the field hockey and men's track & field programs, which combined for 545 hours of community outreach. Both were treated to dinner and awarded a trophy to display in their team office or locker room.

About the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program: In 1991, the NCAA Foundation initiated efforts to create a total development program for student-athletes. Through the collaborative efforts of the NCAA Foundation and the Division I-A Athletics Directors' Association, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program (Challenging Athletes'Minds for Personal Success) was created.

In 1994, after several years of development by the NCAA Foundation, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program was introduced to the NCAA membership. That summer, 46 NCAA institutions participated in the first orientation for administrators from around the country. Since then, approximately 40 member institutions and conferences have joined the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program each year.

Today, the NCAA education services staff oversees the development of the program, offering services, support and programs to participating institutions throughout the year. The CHAMPS/Life Skills Program is supported through the promotional and financial efforts of the NCAA.

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