UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers Give Back

About Us

Wisconsin Athletics is committed to providing opportunities for its student-athletes to develop and grow through the exploration of areas of social relevance while responding to the needs of the greater Madison community.

To achieve these aims, we instituted the Badgers Give Back program in September 2012. The program was a huge success in its first year, producing a 263% increase in appearances and a 79% increase in the number of hours volunteered by UW student-athletes. During the 2012-13 academic year, our student-athletes volunteered 4,185 hours at 145 events throughout Dane County.

To best serve the needs of our community and fans, we have concentrated our philanthropic efforts and the Badgers Give Back program around the following areas:


The Badgers are committed to promoting learning and academic achievement amongst the students of Wisconsin, with an emphasis on literacy.

Bookin’ It With Bucky:

Bookin’ It With Bucky is a long-standing partnership between UW Athletics and the Madison Metropolitan School District. Es¬tablished in 2001, the program aims to improv¬e literacy in schools across Dane County. Thanks to the partnership, more than 50 student-athletes donate their time to local schools each year to inter¬act with elementary students and encourage them to read. Over the 12 years the pro¬gram has been in place, more than 9,000 students in more than 300 classrooms have been impacted by interaction with UW student-athletes. Elementary classrooms also receive a visit from Bucky Badger and other prizes as a reward for meeting their reading goals.

Read Across America Day Tour:

On March 1, UW student-athletes participate in a multi-school tour of the Dane County area in celebration of Read Across America Day. At each school, student-athletes read aloud to students and encourage them to read. Fourteen UW student-athletes made appearances at four area schools in 2013.


We are committed to developing the next generation of leaders by supporting programs that foster the development of character and life-skills.

Chin’s Up Pen Pal Program:

The Chin’s Up Pen Pal program was started in September 2012 by former UW women’s basketball player Kelly Supernaw. Chin’s Up pairs UW student-athletes with elementary age students to write letters of encouragement back and forth. Students that participate in the program also get the chance to meet their ‘pen pal’ face to face at a kick-off party and end-of-the-year celebration. In 2013, 30 UW student-athletes wrote letters of encouragement to area youth.

Anti-Bullying Initiative:

Each year, UW student-athletes will select one initiative that will serve as the “championed cause” for the year. To advance this cause, UW Athletics will focus extra marketing efforts and attention on this area. UW student-athletes have selected anti-bullying for the 2013-2014 academic year. UW student-athletes will visit local schools and host anti-bullying drives at UW athletics events as part of their anti-bullying campaign.

Helping Hand

We strive to provide experiences for children and families that provide and strength and joy in a time of crisis or illness.

Wish Upon A Badger:

The UW Athletic Department began fulfilling the wish¬es of young Badger fans facing serious illness several years ago with the “Wish Upon A Badger” program. In cooperation with the American Family Children’s Hospital, children are provided the opportunity to go behind the scenes with their favorite team, meeting the players and coaches, touring the facilities and hanging out at a practice. A number of different sports have participated in the program including men’s basketball, women’s tennis, football and softball.

American Family Children’s Hospital:

UW Athletics has a proud, long standing relationship with the American Family Children’s Hospital. UW Athletics donates tickets to several matches and games throughout the year to be enjoyed by the families the hospital serves. In addition, UW Athletics hosts nine patients from the children’s hospital each UW home football game on the “Bucky’s Locker Room Patio” in the South end zone of Camp Randall Stadium. Several UW Athletics teams also visit the children’s hospital each year. In 2012, 14 UW Athletics teams visited the patients of American Family Children’s Hospital a total of 34 times.

Red and White Hunger Fight:

Red and White Hunger Fight is a campus-wide food drive benefiting the Commu¬nity Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin. The effort was started in 2008 by former UW women’s soccer player Michele Dalton and is now spear¬headed by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in conjunction with the Wisconsin Alumni Association and the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Last year, the student-athletes collected enough food to feed 3,611 families. More than 11 tons of food and $4,443 has been collected to provide over 18,333 meals to Dane County families since the program’s debut.

Health & Wellness

UW Athletics supports any effort that encourages physical fitness and nutrition.


Wisconsin Athletics debuted the WiscFit program in September 2013. WiscFit aims to encourage healthy exercise and nutrition practices amongst children grades five through seven by establishing goals that increase the time spent exercising and the consumption of healthy foods. UW student-athletes visit a classroom to help them set health and fitness-related goals and then return to the classroom to congratulate the students when a goal has been reached. Participating classrooms also receive a visit from Bucky Badger and other prizes as a reward for meeting their goals.

If you are interested in having a student-athlete make an appearance at your event, please visit the "Appearance" link of our Badgers Give Back page. To submit a request for an in-kind item or donation, please visit the "Donation" link.

To assist you with the request process, we have developed clear guidelines that adhere to NCAA compliance regulations. We encourage you to read all of the guidelines before submitting your request.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact our Community Relations Coordinator, Kayla Gross, by emailing kgross@athletics.wisc.edu.

We look forward to working with our fans and community partners to improve the Madison community we all call home. On Wisconsin!

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