Madison Leavitt was a freshman when she came to a UVU Jumpstart orientation three years ago. Looking around at the dozens of clubs displayed, she wasn’t sure which, if any, she would get involved with.
Her step-father was, however.
“You need to join the MAWL,” he said.
Leavitt wasn’t sure. The Mighty Athletic Wolverine League wasn’t at the top of her list and after all, how many father figures try to get their kids involved in, or at least appreciate, sports? Influential motives aside, Leavitt took up his suggestion.
It didn’t take long to realize she bled green after all.
“After joining the MAWL, I started realizing the environment that college sports have,” Leavitt said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Now a senior and the newly minted student president of the MAWL, Leavitt has every intention of sharing the college fan experience with hundreds, if not thousands, of other students. She is well qualified in school spirit, having been a cheerleader before coming to UVU.
“Cheerleading in high school set me up to have spirit,” Leavitt said. “I’m really passionate about getting the students involved, getting them into the game and supporting the team.”
Leavitt doesn’t just like the games. She knows them. Her favorite sport? Baseball.
“It’s just a very complex sport,” Leavitt said. “There’s lots of different dynamics, positions. I’ve just grown up watching baseball.”
Through the MAWL, Leavitt hopes other students will witness NCAA athletics through a more personal experience than simply watching TV or reading the game recap the next day.
“We’re going to do a lot of tailgates and work on getting more students to come to those,” Leavitt said. “We also want to get athletes more involved with not only the athletic type of events, but also regular student activities, having them come and be a part of it and interact with other students.”
Whether other UVU students have “grown up” with sports is irrelevant to Leavitt and the MAWL. The program plans on treating upcoming home games like events or concerts, complete with build-up events during the week. For $15, a student can attend every home game all year as well as get free food at tailgates and MAWL barbecues. Members also receive a shirt, lanyard, bumper sticker, and student section seating for home games.
Leavitt doesn’t want students to miss any of it.
“A lot gets missed on this campus, for whatever reason,” Leavitt said. “Part of the problem is the commuting students. They may not have time to come to the games and whatnot, or they might not hear about them. I really would just like to have more awareness for when things are going on.”
The MAWL will be holding a barbecue Wednesday, Aug. 30 in the campus courtyard, followed by a tailgate Friday before UVU volleyball hosts the University of Michigan.