The Community Engagement pillar offers opportunities for student-athletes to give back to the community and to enhance their relationship building skills. Our programming focuses on the focal areas of youth literacy, healthy lifestyles, and underserved communities. The student-athletes have impacted over 100 organizations through the programs listed below.
The Sweat Hawgs program is a collaborative community outreach effort between the University of Arkansas Athletic Department, Fayetteville Public Schools, and Farmington Public Schools. Razorback student-athletes use their peak physical condition to encourage physical education and healthy eating habits in these local schools. Razorback student-athletes are committed to extinguishing childhood obesity in the youth of Arkansas.
One of the Razorbacks’ most successful programs over the years has been the Book Hogs – Read to Win initiative which encourages students at the elementary school level to enjoy reading.
Each February, students are challenged to read 360 minutes during the month. Razorback student-athletes spend time visiting each of the nine elementary schools in Fayetteville in an effort to highlight the program. Every student that reaches the 360-minute goal has their name placed in a drawing. One grand-prize winner from each school receives three tickets to a Razorback baseball game where they are acknowledged on the field during the game. In addition, the class at each school which compiles the most minutes read is invited to Bud Walton Arena for a pizza party hosted by our Razorback student-athletes.
Shopping With the Razorbacks
The University of Arkansas and its student-athletes have an annual tradition of raising money and going shopping with several deserving kids in the Fayetteville community around the holiday season. Members of SAAC and the Razorback athletic teams are able to give back and take nine area elementary students, one from each area elementary school, shopping at Walmart Supercenter.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Day event is a collaborative effort between local youth students and Razorback student-athletes. On this Monday morning, 40 youth students, ranging from 9-19 years old, participate in this event in the HPER building. Student-athletes play volleyball and basketball with the youth and coaches interact with the students as well. The Pom Squad and Cheerleaders teach dances and cheers to some of the youth as well.
Salute to Veterans
Salute to Veterans is an annual collaborative community engagement effort between the Fayetteville VA Medical Center and Razorback student-athletes. This event takes place every Valentine’s Day and gives our student-athletes the opportunity to deliver fun handwritten cards, created by local elementary school students, to the VA Hospital patients. The student-athletes take pictures with the patients and thank them for their service in the military.