Athletics News

GW Athletics Welcomes Student-Athletes, Freshmen Back to Campus

Sept. 8, 2016

One hundred sixty-three freshmen and transfer student-athletes, across George Washington's 27 varsity teams, participated in a retreat last weekend on the Foggy Bottom campus to kick off the 2016-17 academic and athletic year.

After spending the beginning of the weekend moving into residence halls and apartments around campus, the large group descended upon University Yard on August 28 for a series of team-building activities. The event was hosted by GW's Lifeskills Program, in conjunction with the GW's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).

In attendance were all freshman and transfer student-athletes, SAAC representatives, members of GW Athletics' Educational Support Staff and Senior Staff Administrators along with head coaches and assistant coaches.

The main goal of the day was to acclimate the new members of the GW Athletics family to their new lives while promoting the knowledge and leadership of the University's namesake. The activities that the student-athletes participated in aimed to provide insight into George Washington's leadership lessons.

"We were able to incorporate George Washington's leadership values into an afternoon filled with fun activities led by SAAC members," said Academic Support Assistant Shelby McKay. "I am looking forward to seeing the new student-athletes apply those leadership values to their GW Athletics experience."

Student-athletes were broken up into 15 groups and participated in ice breakers before moving along to a series of 15 stations that featured team-building exercises. Each station had a game that demonstrated specific lessons, such as good judgement, self control, responsibility and learning from mistakes, ambition, courage and determination.

The weekend concluded on Monday evening inside the Charles E. Smith Center as all student-athletes, coaches and administrators came together for a session with Dr. Derek Greenfield.

Dr. Greenfield, a renowned visionary speaker, consultant and thought leader, presented his session, "Building Successful Teams to Achieve Dreams," to the entire athletic department. The event featured a number of group discussions, team-building exercises and motivational anecdotes that were designed to unite the nearly 500 members of the department.

"I really enjoyed Dr. Greenfield's session and I thought it was very informative and powerful," said gymnastics freshman Ryan Finkelstein. "The most impactful part was a small group activity where we had to share something personal within our group. It brought us all closer together even though we were strangers to one another."