National Student-Athlete Day is celebrated each year on April 6. The day honors the exceptional achievements of student athletes and their contributions to American sports. National Student-Athlete Day also encourages students to sign up for sporting activities. This helps students not only develop their extracurricular skills, but also get scholarships for higher education and many other opportunities to develop into adults with bright futures. School and college-level sports are a big part of American sports culture, which is why National Student-Athlete Day ensures that every athlete, no matter their age, gets their due.
History of National Student Athlete Day
Student athletes have existed for as long as schools and colleges have, but this celebration of their accomplishments through National Student-Athlete Day is a fairly new tradition. The day was first celebrated in 1987, designed to honor the exemplary achievements of high school and college student athletes. This isn’t all about sports, however, because National Student Athlete Day honors those students who have achieved excellence in both academics and athletics alike, as well as those who have made significant contributions to their schools and communities.
Decades have since passed, and National Student-Athlete Day has now honored more than 4.4 million outstanding student athletes across American schools and colleges. The holiday was created by the Institute for Sport and Social Justice and is now celebrated in partnership with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (N.C.A.A.) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (N.F.H.S.).
Along with National Student-Athlete Day, Giant Steps Awards Honorees are chosen on a national level and honored at the annual Giant Steps Awards Gala and Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. The award recognizes achievements in many different fields. Some of the categories include courageous student athletes (male and female), coaches, civic leaders, and barrier breakers. The awardees form a diverse group of individuals who have shown courage and heroism, and who have triumphed in the midst of adversity. The award also takes into consideration community activism through the power of sport. The awardees are chosen by a national selection committee from a pool of hundreds of nominees from all across the country. Grit, perseverance, and courage define the true meaning of National Student-Athlete Day.
National Student Athlete Day timeline
The first recognized sports club pops up at Yale University.
Colleges come together to compete in the regatta.
The first intercollegiate cricket match is held between Franklin & Marshall College and Millersville State Normal School.
A landmark for the inclusion of women in intercollegiate sports is established.
National Student Athlete Day FAQs
What does it take to be a student athlete?
A student athlete is a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by the educational institution in which he or she is enrolled. Student athletes are full-time students and athletes at the same time.
What is a D1 student athlete?
D1 consists of the largest schools that also have the biggest budgets to support their athletic programs. It’s considered to be the most competitive division with the best athletes and teams.
Do student athletes get paid?
All college athletes in California can now earn money from their name, image, and likeness.
National Student Athlete Day Activities
Attend a game
Celebrate National Student-Athlete Day by attending a local high school or college game. Cheer the athletes and relive your own memories of high school and college games.
A great way to celebrate National Student-Athlete Day is by donating to schools or local organizations that sponsor student athletes from lower-income backgrounds. This is truly the best way to make a change.
Encourage student athletes
If you know any student athletes around you, cheer them on and encourage them to pursue their passions on National Student-Athlete Day. This keeps their spirits high and encourages them to perform better.
5 Fascinating Facts About Athletes
A lot of hard work
On average, a student athlete spends 30 hours a week in practice.
Scholarships are rare
Only 12,000 of 250,000 student athletes will receive a scholarship in any given year.
Pro athletes are rare too
One out of 25 student athletes becomes pro athletes.
Baseball is popular
Most baseball student athletes go pro than any other sport.
Student athletes can’t have agents
It’s forbidden by the N.C.A.A.
Why We Love National Student Athlete Day
It’s an important part of the education system
Sports and athletics have always been an important part of the American education system. National Student-Athlete Day ensures that we continue to honor these age-old traditions.
It keeps spirits high
Student athletes are under tremendous pressure to perform well both academically and in sports. Celebrations such as National Student-Athlete Day ensure that their spirits and morale are kept high.
It defines the future of sports
Many student athletes go on to become sportspersons who represent America on the international stage. National Student-Athlete Day cheers on our future sportspersons and encourages more people to take up sports.
National Student Athlete Day dates