Athletics has long been central to Winthrop’s campus life. The early days of field hockey, swimming and bicycling paved the way for the university’s 17 championship-caliber Division I sports programs as well as more than 20 clubs and intramural sports teams. Student-athletes continue to give standout performances in their sport of choice, in the classroom and in the community. Athletic highlights in 2010-11 include:
Women’s Tennis Championship
For the fourth-straight year the women’s tennis team captured the Big South Conference championship, the program’s ninth title in the last 10 years. The strong performance of Conference Player of the Year Yasmine Alkema helped lead the Lady Eagles to their most recent NCAA tournament appearance where they faced Vanderbilt University.
The 2010-11 academic year turned out to be a milestone year for student-athletes as they achieved the highest cumulative GPA in at least 15 years and compiled a 3.0 GPA for both the fall and spring semesters for the first time in school history. In addition, Winthrop had the highest percentage of student-athletes in the Big South Conference who earned recognition on the prestigious Presidential Honor Roll list for the 2010-11 academic year. The university placed 146 of its 239 student-athletes on the Presidential Honor Roll - one of five full-time conference members to have at least 50 percent on the list. The percentage is the highest ever for Winthrop and marks the first year since 2006 that the university’s student-athletes have ranked at the top of the conference honor roll list.
For a third consecutive year, Winthrop Athletics won the Big South Conference Kallander Cup Challenge. The Kallander Cup was created in 2006 to engage student-athletes from all confernece schools in a year-long fundraising project for charity. This year, Winthrop earned the award for its efforts in collecting more than 1,200 pounds of soap and personal care products for Soap for Souls. Winthrop's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) also raised $425 which was used to purchase toiletries that were distributed to local charities and shelters. SAAC was honored with the award in 2009-10 for its efforts in gathering 2,400 pairs of shoes for Samaritan's Feet and in 2008-09 for performing 1,856 hours of community service.