National Student-Athlete Day Date in the current year: April 6, 2024

National Student-Athlete Day National Student-Athlete Day is observed annually on April 6. It was created in 1987 to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of high school and college student-athletes, as well as to encourage students to take up sports.

In the United States, high school and college sports are more than just popular extracurricular activities. Some high school sports are highly competitive because excelling in them gives high school athletes a chance to win an athletic scholarship and reduce or even avoid student loans. Nearly 8 million student-athletes compete at the high school level every year, and about half a million college students complete as NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) athletes.

The most popular sports among male high school students (by participation) are football, outdoor track and field, basketball, baseball, and soccer, whereas female high school students prefer outdoor track and field, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball. Other popular high school sports include cross-country, tennis, swimming and diving, wrestling, golf, lacrosse, cheerleading, and indoor track and field.

College sports in the United States have two main tiers. The first tier includes the sports sanctioned by the NCAA, another collegiate sport governing body, or an individual sanctioning organization. It is highly competitive and therefore available only to elite student-athletes. The second tier includes intramural and recreational sports, which are available to less skilled student-athletes.

Unlike in many other countries, college sports are a big deal in the United States; some games are even televised. They help foster diversity in colleges, provide economic benefits through ticket and merchandise sales, and create jobs for coaches, trainers, and administrative stuff. The most popular college sports by attendance are football, ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, baseball, soccer, and volleyball.

National Student-Athlete Day (stylized as National STUDENT-Athlete Day) was created in 1987 by the Institute for Sport & Social Justice, an organization committed to using the power of sport to create positive social change through empowerment and education. It is co-sponsored by the NCAA and the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations). The main goal of the observance is to honor the academic and athletic achievements of student-athletes, as well as their contributions to their schools and communities.

In conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day, the Institute for Sport & Social Justice holds its annual Giant Steps and Hall of Fame Gala to honor outstanding individuals who have made a significant contribution to high school and college athletics in several categories: Courageous Student-Athlete, Civic Leader, Coach, Barrier Breaker, and A Hero Among Us.

There are many ways to observe National Student-Athlete Day and celebrate the achievements of student-athletes. You can attend a local high school or college game, encourage your kid to take up a sport, donate to a nonprofit that supports talented student-athletes from low-income families, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalStudentAthleteDay and #StudentAthleteDay.

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National Student-Athlete Day, observances in the US, holidays in the US, high school athletics, college athletics