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UM Athletes Perform Record Amount of Public Service [AUDIO]

Kent Haslam
photo by Peter Christian

University of Montana’s student-athletes spent more than 2,190 hours donating their time to community service events and projects during the 2013-14 academic year. 

Athletic Director Kent Haslam said on Friday that he has good reason to be proud of his nearly 300 student athletes.

“As we close out the academic year, and tally all of the community service hours, we more than tripled the number of academic hours over the previous academic year,” Haslam said. “They’ve put in almost 2,200 hours of community service among our athletes is just an amazing feat.”

Haslam said the process used to help athletes hook up with the organizations they want to serve has been streamlined and much more efficiently organized.

“Organizations can request service through our official website at gogriz.com, and it’s all coordinated by Lindsay Goodman, who is in our academic service area,” he said. “We’ve brought some structure and continuity and more opportunities for our student athletes to get out and give back. I’m just so proud that they’ve fully embraced this three-fold mission that we’ve been emphasizing, with athletics, academics and community service.”

Haslam counts down just a few of the community organizations that have benefited from the volunteer hours spent by student athletes.

“They’re serving in the schools, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, the United Way and many more,” he said. “Personally, there is a side of me that thinks we shouldn’t publicize all this, but I think it helps hold our student athletes more accountable to be recognized for the good things they do.”

How much is 2,194.5 hours, to be exact? If you worked 40 hours per week for an entire year, without a vacation day, sick day or holiday break, you’d put in 2,080 hours.

So the Grizzlies provided Missoula and other communities with what was essentially a full-time volunteer. While at the same time going to classes, studying, practicing, traveling and competing.

UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam

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