Athletics News


Aug. 28, 2017

In a weekend dubbed Leadership Weekend ahead of Monday’s first day of classes at GW, the university’s more than 500 student-athletes from 27 varsity teams got together with an event-packed schedule to begin to build the bonds of camaraderie, togetherness and inclusion that will yield the wide array of achievements that GW Athletics is poised for this year.

Beginning with a Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) on Saturday, GW’s student leaders honed their abilities to build trust and cohesion amongst their peers.

That gave way to a picture perfect Sunday morning on University Yard where SAAC then guided incoming freshmen and transfers student-athletes through a series of exercises and obstacles designed to strengthen teamwork and both verbal and non-verbal communication.

Together under one roof for the first time in 2017-18 on Sunday night in the Charles E. Smith Center, all student-athletes, head coaches and administrators were then treated to dinner and a pair of extraordinary sessions conducted by Bonnie St. John, the first African-American to win medals in Winter Paralympic competition as a ski racer, and mental training coach Brian Levenson.

Wearing shirts identifying the GW Athletics family as “DETERMINED. COMMITTED. RESPECTFUL.” it was the words of St. John, immortalized on a Starbucks cup that left the most indelible impression of the weekend.

“People fall down. Winners get up, and gold medal winners get up the fastest.”