Wolverine athletics and the diversity within

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Utah Valley University is home to 12 Division I sports ranging from golf to basketball. Among those 12 sports, 368 athletes compete their hardest not only to get the opportunity to wear UVU green and white, but to represent their school all across the country. 

Some of you might have classes with some of these amazing athletes. Others may be  friends or roommates with them, but how much do you really know about our UVU student athletes? 

As is mostly common knowledge, UVU is an open enrollment school, meaning as long as you have a pulse you can apply to be a student. This is a very attractive feature of the school, especially for coaches looking to recruit athletes. 

All Are Welcome

Out of the 368 student athletes, some of whom play multiple sports meaning that number may be a little exaggerated, 17 of them are international students. This is due in large part to the open enrollment policy that these students are able to come from their home countries all over the world and come here to Orem, Utah for sports and education. 

To go along with the 17 international students, one coach also claims a foreign land as home. UVU head volleyball coach Sam Atoa, hails from Pesega, Samoa.

Now compared to the much larger 368 number, 17 may seem insignificant. But let’s be honest here, UVU isn’t exactly the most well known school across the country, let alone across the globe. When people talk about colleges in the state of Utah, Brigham Young University and the University of Utah are more well known, especially for their athletics. 

With that being said, it’s a great feat to have those 17 international athletes represent the Wolverines. 

Where Are They From?

Let’s jump into the nitty gritty of where these athletes call home. Almost half share the same continent as Utah, with six athletes hailing from the Great White North. Three golfers on the men’s golf team are from Canada, as well as one on the softball team, one on the women’s soccer roster and one on the men’s basketball team. 

The great continent of Africa is represented by four athletes, some of whom compete in cross country and some compete in track and field, with some being on both rosters. All four students come from different cities within Kenya, including Kitale, Kabaret, Eldoret and Baringo. 

When it comes to a single sport that has the most diversity, that title goes to the women’s basketball team — with four roster spots from all across the globe. One player comes from Lisbon, Portugal, another from London, England and two from Australia — Melbourne and Adelaide.  

To go along with a Canadian on the men’s basketball team, their roster also hosts a player from Istanbul, Turkey.

The men’s soccer team has some French blood in it with a player from Ajaccio, France, while the women’s golf team claims a player from Deutschland, or Moosinning, Germany. 

More Are Welcome

Eight different countries are represented within UVU athletics, but why does that matter? Well according to collegesimply.com, 80% of UVU’s student population is in-state, 17% are from within the United States but outside of Utah and only 1% of students are foreign.  

With over 34,000 students currently enrolled in UVU, one would assume that there would be more diversity within its student population. So, while having 17 student athletes join us from all over the world is amazing, wouldn’t it be nice to continue to see more diversity wearing Wolverine jerseys and uniforms?