In March 2011, current & former Gophers visited an elementary school, one of more than 200 community outreach events in which Minnesota student-athletes participate each year. See the video below.
The CHAMPS/Life Skills program will:
• Promote student-athletes’ ownership of their academic, athletic, career, personal and community responsibilities.
• Meet the changing needs for student-athletes.
• Promote respect for diversity and inclusion among student-athletes.
• Assist student-athletes in identifying and applying transferable skills.
• Enhance partnerships between the NCAA, member institutions and their communities for the purpose of education.
• Foster an environment that encourages student-athletes to effectivelly access campus resources.
In 1991, the NCAA Foundation initiated efforts to create a total development program for student-athletes. Through the collaborative efforts of the NCAA Foundation and the Division I-A Athletic Director's Association, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program (Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success) was created. Today, the NCAA Education Outreach staff oversees the development of the program, offering services, support and programs to participating institutions throughout the year. The CHAMPS/Life Skills Program is supported through the promotional and financial efforts of the NCAA Foundation and the NCAA national office.
The Life Skills Program at the University Of Minnesota includes many programs all designed to help make the student-athlete's experience a positive one. The CHAMPS/Life Skills program is an NCAA sponsored program designed to focus on the total development of the student-athlete. Part of the mission of the Athletic Department is to encourage student-athletes to achieve excellence in their academic and athletic pursuits.
In an effort to assist our student-athletes further, the program is designed to give a comprehensive approach to providing educational experiences and services which focus on the individual. We presently utilize: a freshman orientation course, personal development programs, Golden Career Opportunities, various community outreach efforts, and our Student Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) to impact the lives of our young men and women.
Gopher involvement in the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program helps student-athletes enhance the quality of their experience here within the university setting. We are also supplied with instructional materials and supplemental resources which support our student-athletes' development within the CHAMPS/Life Skills Commitment Statements’ five key areas: academic excellence, athletic excellence, personal development, career development, and community service.
“I’ve always thought that what you’ve been given you should give back, and I’ve been so fortunate and so blessed to be here, playing here, getting an education, and it’s incredible how little kids look up to Gophers. It’s a lot of fun to be able to see them so excited to see us and that’s something they aspire to do, so it’s fun."
- Alyssa Grogan, Women's Hockey
“I always thought it was a good thing to give back to those less fortunate and to help out people. I’ve had it pretty easy throughout my life. My family’s been great. People that don’t have that, I just want to give them an opportunity to have that for a day.”
- Kurt Schlangen, Baseball
“I just feel like there’s a lot of kids out there that are looking up to us as athletes that don’t have the opportunity to do what we do. We like getting out there in different organizations and just doing what we can to help out. It’s not just fun for them, but it’s fun for us too.”
- Matt Puhl, Baseball
“You learn to work as a team with other people, and, the biggest thing is the feeling you get at the end of the day when everything’s done, the kind of sense of accomplishment you get from helping other people. The reason I do it is because my family has always told us that it’s better to give than to receive.”
- Moses Alipate, Football