LARAMIE, Wyo. - As another successful event apart of the Excellence at 7220 program, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee's (SAAC) hosted the 3nd Annual Gatorade Pong Tournament. The tournament was held on Sunday afternoon, October 25, 2015 on the concourse level of the Arena Auditorium.
The Gatorade pong tournament is a canned food drive, which entices UW student-athletes to get into the Halloween spirit, by attending the event in a Halloween costume and participate in the costume contest; participate in the Gatorade pong tournament and, most importantly; participate in the canned food drive. The goal of the Gatorade pong game is to toss one ping-pong ball into each of the 10 cups before the opposing team. In order to be eligible to compete in the tournament, each team of two, donates 4 canned food items. If the team of two donates 6 canned food items, the team was actually able to “pull one of the cups”.
This year’s event enticed 72 student-athletes to participate, who together donated 218 cans of food, which will be donated to a local food bank. Members of SAAC hope this number actually increases, as an “ask” was made to all athletics department staff members to contribute to the canned food drive this week, as well. Thanks to the participation of the student athletes, the event helped tally over 100 community service hours for the Cowgirls/Cowboys in their academic year competition against other institutions in the Mountain West Conference.
The winner of the Gatorade Pong competition was team “Potato Head”; Luke Pain, a junior on the UW Wrestling team, and Laurel Ramer, a junior on the UW Soccer team were the winners. Their costume was in fact, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. The team had a rough start, but made it out on top.
“We lost the first game so got bumped to the loser’s bracket, but made a glorious comeback to make it to the finals. We used the negative cup advantage which really helped,” said Paine.
The team plans on attending the event again next year, and defend the title, because anything less would be a “disappointment”.
“I am most excited to announce a “shout-out” to my roommate Bassy (Alicia Bass, UW woman’s Soccer team member), because I kept the tournament championship in the house,” added Ramer.
The Halloween costume contest winners were both members of the UW Wrestling team--junior Archie Colgan and sophomore Ryder Newman. They did not win a game in the Gatorade Pong competition, but the Halloween costume contest was an even bigger victory for them.
“My costume was Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction and my partner (Ryder) was Vincent Vega. We dressed up almost to the “T” of what the real characters wore,” said Colgan, “I do think that I would do it again next year.”
The SAAC Executive Board members plan to continue this event for years to come, and hope to grow the number of student-athletes who participate and of course, food donations, so that they can help those who are less fortunate in the community, in particular, as the holiday season nears.
SAAC's annual Toys For Tots fundraiser will be next up, hosted by UW’s student-athlete volunteers. The project is a fundraiser where funds raised are then used to purchase toys, books, clothing, etc., for underprivileged children. Student-Athletes will be fundraising during and in between the UW Football and Men’s Basketball game on Saturday, November 7, 2015.