June 27, 2014
MADISON, Wis. – On Thursday night, 45 first-year UW student-athletes gathered for team-building exercises, a campus-wide scavenger hunt and an opportunity to get to know their fellow Badgers.
Director of Student-Athlete Development Bridget Woodruff indicated that the event is part of the “summer bridge” program for new student-athletes and was hosted by the Office of Student-Athlete Development and the Office of Academic Services.
“It’s all of the first-year students who just graduated high school and come in early,” Woodruff said. “It’s an opportunity for them to meet each other, interact and do some team-building.”
The Office of Student-Athlete Development strives to inspire, engage and advance student-athletes through life skills and diversity and inclusion programming. That includes programming to assist with each student’s transition from high school to college, develop them personally, engage them with campus and teach student-athletes the skills to be successful in life after sports.
“We got to meet all of our new friends and connect with people from all over the country,” said Maddie Rolfes of the women’s hockey team.
Other events by the Office of Student-Athlete Development during the summer include an annual Badger Connections Barbeque which provides UW student-athletes an opportunity to network with coaches, UW faculty and staff and Madison community members. All activities during the summer bridge program allow the student-athletes to build relationships and expand their network and familiarizes them with academic and campus resources related specifically to the student-athlete experience.
The night ended with a campfire and some s’mores at Brittingham Park by Lake Monona Bay. Derrick Tindal, a freshman cornerback on the football team, was able to enjoy his first ever s’more.
“This type of thing is important because we need to bond,” Tindal said. “It was cool to meet some of the other student-athletes, too, so we can create a better campus environment.”