The Walla Walla University athletics program is dedicated to preparing students for their futures while uplifting the University in the present.
Nestor Osorio, director of athletics, is excited about all that the athletics program has to offer. The program was just named a “Champions of Character Five-Star School” by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. To receive this honor, athletics programs must submit documentation to show they are intentionally promoting five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. This is the first year WWU has received this accolade.
Along with a new title, the athletics department has had an influx of international students. Almost 40% of the student athlete population are international students. WWU gives students a chance to earn a degree while playing the sport they love at a highly competitive level.
“It is important that [students] understand our model is different from other schools,” said Osorio. “Our goal is not for them to consider our school as a club. We are an educational institution. Our focus is on graduation and becoming closer to God.”
The athletics department uses sports to teach students to become better leaders. Students on the teams must learn to excel in time management, and to overcome the vulnerability and criticism they are faced with at every game.
“Athletics allows you to sacrifice today for a better future,” declared Osorio.
Student athletes not only get a chance to play the sport they love, but they also are given a community. Osorio stated that he tries to incorporate his core values of hope, love, and family into the athletics department. Through an open-door policy and access to mentoring and counseling, student athletes are given support to handle adversity both on the court and off.
To support the athletics department, Osorio asks WWU students to buy Wolves gear and attend games. He also recommends they check out the team rosters and say hi to the athletes when they pass them on campus.
“[The athletes] are putting in time and effort to represent the school,” he said. “It is important for them to feel appreciated.”
Team schedules, rosters, and opportunities to become a part of the athletics department are all found at Uwolves.com.