FAYETTEVILLE -Throughout the school year, Razorback student-athletes from all 19 sports participate in many different community service activities. Out of those activities, the Sweat Hawgs, has been one of the longest running programs in Razorback athletics.
The Sweat Hawgs program gets its official start for the 2010-11 season today with a kick-off visit from gymnastics coach René Cook, gymnasts Michelle Stout and Jamie Pisani and women’s basketball players Erin Gatling and Julie Inman at Butterfield Elementary School. The week continues with a visit from women’s tennis coach Michael Hegarty and team member Emily Carbone Monday, Sept. 13, to Vandergriff Elementary.
The Sweat Hawgs program is a collaborative community outreach effort between the University of Arkansas Athletics Department, the Fayetteville Public Schools and the Farmington Public Schools. This program brings Razorback student-athletes into the schools and conducts physical education rallies to provide incentives to students and teachers to encourage physical fitness. The mission of the Sweat Hawgs is to inspire the youth to be active.
"Sweat Hawgs is a way that Razorback Athletics go into the local elementary schools and talk to students about being healthy and show how important it is to be active," Rodger Hunter, Student Life Coordinator for the athletic department, said. "It encourages young people to prioritize their health and physical fitness."
Sweat Hawgs, which is now in its sixth year, is planning on attending 12 elementary schools this year, nine in Fayetteville and three in Farmington. The schools in Farmington include: Williams Elementary, Ledbetter Intermediate and Folsom Elementary. The Fayetteville schools include: Asbell, Butterfield Trail, Happy Hollow, Holcomb, Leverett, Owl Creek, Root, Vandergriff and Washington Elementary.
The Razorback student-athletes participate in the rallies to encourage active lifestyles. They speak at school-wide assemblies and return throughout the school year going into classrooms checking up on progress and participating in activities.
The Sweat Hawg program is one of several community service activities that the Razorbacks participate in. Some of the others this year include Miracle League at Tyson Ball Park, Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, the Southeastern Conference’s Together We Can food drive and Special Olympics.