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Athlete CRUSH College Impact Awards

Thilo Kunkel

Here at Athlete CRUSH, we believe that athletes have the power to change the world. Regardless of the level of competition, there are athletes around the world who do amazing things on a daily basis. We have encountered this first hand, as we have written about countless athletes like that. But, unfortunately, these acts often go unheard, especially at the college level.

Thilo Kunkel, the founder and CEO of Athlete CRUSH, works as a sport management professor and is an expert in athlete branding. Thilo has taught a number of student-athletes and seen the incredible efforts they make in the community. Despite their hard work, he felt that their efforts were not being properly appreciated and promoted.

Multiple awards already exist that include a community service component (e.g., NCAA Woman of the Year; National Scholar-Athlete Awards). Existing awards place a big emphasis on student-athletes who excel on the field and in the classroom. But, we don’t feel that only star players or top students deserve to be recognized.

As a result, we created the Athlete CRUSH College Impact Awards as a way give proper recognition to those student-athletes. When asked what motivated him to create the College Impact Awards, Thilo wanted to look for athletes making an impact in their communities. “We wanted to highlight them and contribute to the causes to help them continue to inspire others.”

The Research

After doing some research, we came across some impressive statistics related to community work done by student-athletes across the country. The NCAA reported that more than 80% of student-athletes volunteer at least a few hours per year. More than 60% of those athletes agree that volunteering with their team is a valuable experience (NCAA, 2014).


On a more micro level, Penn State reported that during their 2015-2016 academic year, their student-athletes logged a total of 8,016 hours of community engagement (PSU, 2016).... View Full Article

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