MORGANTOWN, WV (WVU) – The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been recognized as one of Helper Helper’s top-10 Division I swimming and diving community service teams of 2019-20.
The men’s team ranked third on the list, while the women’s team placed ninth among other Division I swimming and diving programs. Helper Helper is the system used by athletics departments across the country to track community service hours for all teams. The system has access to more than 200 college athletics departments’ community service data and hours, which is how Helper Helper creates the nationwide rankings.
“I am very proud of both teams and the example they have set for our program,” Mountaineer coach Vic Riggs said. “To be recognized as one of the leading programs in community service among all Division I swimming and diving programs is a great honor. This speaks highly of the type of team they are in and out of the pool.”
“The swimming and diving programs have consistently been involved with the community, and this year has been no different,” Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement Tangela Cheatham said. “During the winter break, when many of them were still on campus, they approached our office about finding a way to coordinate a mini ‘Day of Service’ based off our larger annual event. We are proud of the work our teams do in the greater Morgantown community, and we’re excited about the work still to come.”
Combined, the men’s and women’s teams have completed over 450 hours of service this academic year. During the team’s Day of Service, the Mountaineers spent the day volunteering with the animal shelter, local elementary schools, food pantries, nursing homes and local Girl Scout troops.
Additionally, over the last three seasons, the Mountaineers have partnered with Team IMPACT, a nonprofit, Boston-based organization, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing chronic illnesses through the power of a team. Through the organization, the Mountaineers were introduced to Wyatt DeWitt, a seven-year-old from Terra Alta, West Virginia. Wyatt received an official welcome letter into the WVU swimming and diving family with help from Team IMPACT’s “Draft Day” ceremony. Since then, the team has attended Wyatt’s basketball games, hosted him at home meets, invited him to the Big 12 Championship and held a Harry Potter-themed practice for Wyatt this past season.