Sixth Annual Bearcat Day is a Success

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) sponsored the Sixth Annual Bearcat Day on Tuesday, April 27 to provide an opportunity for area youngsters to experience athletics. SAAC members invited 120 students from Bush Elementary School to participate in the two-hour event.

The elementary school students learned about a variety of sports and participated in a number of athletic activities. At the same time, Willamette University student-athletes were able to teach the youngsters about their athletic endeavors.

"It is always great to see the student-athletes having as much fun as the kids that they are teaching," commented Head Swimming Coach and Co-Advisor of SAAC, Leslie Shevlin.

In what has become a Bearcat Day tradition, the highlight for the kids appeared to be the football station. The youngsters made moves to get past Willamette football players and then practiced their celebratory touchdown dances.

"It was so inspiring to see the kids interacting with our student-athletes," said Judy Gordon, assistant athletic director and co-advisor of SAAC. "There was a mutual respect and playful attitude that was heartwarming. I wouldn't want to take a guess as to who had more fun - the little kids or the 'big kids'."

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from each of Willamette’s intercollegiate athletic teams. The SAAC works to provide community service opportunities such as Bearcat Day and also is the liaison between WU athletes, the Department of Athletics, Willamette University and regional and national governing organizations.

WU student-athlete Erin Madden (left) and a student from Bush Elementary run in a relay race at Bearcat Day.

WU student-athlete Erin Madden (left) and a student from Bush Elementary run in a relay race at Bearcat Day.

A student from Bush Elementary controls a tennis ball with a racquet.

A student from Bush Elementary controls a tennis ball with a racquet.