By Jesse Sailer, Sports Editor
DIII Week kicked off this past Monday with the goal of highlighting the impact student-athletes have on and off the field.
The week long event encourages every Division III school to conduct outreach activities that relate to academic accomplishment, athletic experience or leadership/community service/campus involvement.
“It’s definitely a positive opportunity for all athletes associated with Division III to observe and recognize what each other has accomplished on campus and in the surrounding community.” said junior football player Joe Yurik.
DIII week is part of Division III’s “Identity Initiative” which was created back in 2010. The idea was to gain an understanding and effectively explain why schools and conferences prefer to compete at the DIII level.
The initiative has described Division III as “A place where student-athletes can follow your passions and develop your potential within an approach that combines rigorous academics, competitive sports and an opportunity to pursue other interests.”
“It speaks directly to what OWU is all about,” said junior football player Colten Harvey, “competing in a sport as well as pursuing a liberal arts education is exactly why DIII has so much more to offer.”
The North Coast Athletic Association (NCAA) also partnered to promote Mental Health Awareness as an initiative that ties in with DIII Week. Information was given about resources and counseling services here on campus.
Activities to celebrate DIII Week have been planned and put together through the Ohio Wesleyan Athletic Committee (OWAC). OWAC is comprised of OWU student-athletes, and led by the women’s assistant field hockey coach Lauren Thomas.
“It gives us an opportunity to formally recognize and honor our athletes for everything they do both on the field and academically and in the community,” said OWU athletic director Doug Zipp.
At a student tailgate and cookout held for student-athletes of OWU, athletes were given emblems that asked the question, why DIII? Individuals filled them out and hung them all over Hamilton-Williams.
Students will be tabling all week to raise money for Life Bank which is happening conference wide in the form of a change war.
2018 Division III Week runs from April 2 through April. 8, 2018.