Being a part of the northwest Arkansas community is an important part of being a Razorback. The state of Arkansas provides tremendous support for every Razorback athletic team, therefore, it is only fitting the Razorbacks give back to the local community.
The University of Arkansas Athletic Department conducts several programs aimed at placing Razorbacks in the community, particularly as role models to our young people.
Coordinated through the Office of Student Life under the direction of assistant athletic director for student athlete development Eric Wood, two of the longest running programs with direct impact on the elementary schools of northwest Arkansas are the Book Hogs and Sweat Hawgs programs.
Book Hogs encourages reading in the elementary schools, with rewards for the top readers and top schools that include visits by Razorback athletes.
Sweat Hawgs impacts elementary students in the third through fifth grade by encouraging physical fitness activities in hopes of building good exercise habits early.
The Arkansas Athletic Department is a supporter of Lift Up America (2009, 2008 and 2007), the regional effort to provide supplies for area food banks and shelters. The department also participates in project for breast cancer awareness including the annual Pink Zone women's basketball game and the local Komen Race for the Cure. The gymnastics team also assists with women's heart health issues through a Have a Heart home match.
Through their individual teams, Razorback athletes also volunteer for projects ranging from Habitat for Humanity, local Boys and Girls Clubs, local Boy and Girl Scout troops, and visits to area and state children’s hospitals. Individual athletes also volunteer for community projects like Razorbacks for Christmas and Razorback Relief for Haiti.
In the 2008-09 academic year, the Arkansas Athletic Department spearheaded the creation of a speaker’s bureau for coaches and athletes to reach out to local schools at every level, Razorbacks Character Counts. The goal is to bring positive examples of the benefits of hard work, teamwork, and leadership that participation in athletics can provide.
For more information on Razorbacks in the community, contact Eric Wood.
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