Community Engagement

The Sport Administration program engages in numerous community engagement efforts throughout the year as part of the University’s community engagement directive outlined in the Strategic 2020 Plan. The impetus for these activities is to create an ongoing “commitment to the community” and highlight the importance of university students, faculty, and staff as positive collegial citizens on campus and beyond.

According to the University, “future growth of initiatives in the Signature Partnership, Ideas to Action (i2a), Student Affairs, and in each academic unit will result in significant increases in our community service projects and community-based instructional and research efforts.” Within the SPAD program, we have incorporated community engagement in and outside of the classroom.

Examples of courses actively incorporating community engagement in the curriculum include:

SPAD 525 Event Management - each spring, students organize and host a golf scramble. The class includes graduate and undergraduate students who strive to create an engaging event, and the scramble will celebrate its 18th year in 2015. Proceeds from the annual event, which includes a silent auction, are donated to a local nonprofit organization. Recipients have included First Tee Louisville, Atkinson Elementary School, Boys and Girls Club Triple Play Program, and Brooklawn Child and Family Services.

SPAD 561 Fundraising - in this course students learn the importance of development in nonprofit sport settings and strategies for successful fundraising. To facilitate this learning, students meet with professional fundraisers from University of Louisville Athletics, other areas of the University, and the local community. Students also have an opportunity to apply what they learn and help solicit donations for a nonprofit organization.

SPAD 571 Sport for Development and Peace Entrepreneurship - students explore the role of sport for social change and work with local, national, and international entities such as Partners of the Americas. Students also raise funds for nonprofit sport organizations. In 2014, they raised over $1,700 for Girls on the Run Louisville and helped host the organization’s semi-annual 5K Fun Run. The class also worked with Louisville Metro Parks Adapted Leisure, and their efforts included organizing inclusive sport-based programs and other opportunities for people with disabilities. Students are currently working with Portland Elementary School in the after-school program.

In addition to these classes, the SPAD program promotes community engagement and experiential learning with local, regional, and national business partners, organizations, and sporting events, including the PGA of America, World Equestrian Games, Louisville Sports Commission, Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville Professional Tennis, Professional Bowlers Association, and the Mudfund Derby City Cup. These partnerships give students and faculty members multiple opportunities to work with different sports organizations and offer experiential learning.