Davidson varsity athletes are constantly at risk of severely injuring themselves because of the physical demands placed on their bodies from playing a Division 1 sport and attending a rigorous academic institution. Many athletes have sustained significant injuries that threaten their athletic and academic career along with their health and well-being. The college transition can be somewhat jarring, and athletes experience the extra shock of joining a competitive sports team and jumping into a 20hour/week work-out schedule. Currently, there is little infrastructure in place the help athletes through this transition process and minimize preventable injuries.
I(Laura Knapp) am proposing an inaugural student-athlete orientation that prepares student-athletes for the kinds of challenges they may experience in their Davidson careers. The purpose of the orientation is to inform athletes of the challenges that may precede them, share the resources available to them to help them overcome those challenges, and expose them to the cultures of the Davidson Athletic Community that has been a unique source of support for many Davidson athletes. This orientation will include speakers from the athletic department and a panel of upperclassmen athletes or recent graduates that can speak about overcoming adversity as a student athlete. I also made a documentary film from the testimonies of various athletes who faced serious injuries during their careers, which may be helpful to screen at the orientation.