Life off the track
Jan. 27, 2010
By Jeremy Rosenthal
Many people know Will Glover as a muscular athlete, who won a bronze medal at the Big Ten Indoor Championships last year after sprinting 60-meters in under seven seconds. Senior high jumper Jared Nuxoll cleared a height of nearly seven feet at the NCAA Regional meet last year.
Although these individuals are extremely talented, there is much more they value than simply their athletic success. For Glover his interest in giving back to the community lead him to work with the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington. Nuxoll challenged himself by leaving the United States for the first time in his life and traveling 9,826 miles to Australia.
Nuxoll, a business major, said he ventured to Australia because he wanted to experience something new and different.
"I'm from Illinois and go to school in Indiana," Nuxoll said. "I wanted to go out and see what else was out there, and there is a lot out there."
While in Australia, Nuxoll had the opportunity to complete a marketing internship, working for the Australian Financial Review, which he described as being the equivalent to the Wall Street Journal in America. The internship then helped him land a job with JP Morgan Chase in Chicago after he graduates.
Nuxoll had classes on Sundays for six hours and the internship occupied eight hours a day from Monday to Wednesday. In his free time he visited the Great Barrier Reef, went scuba diving and skydiving and toured famous city landmarks in Melbourne and Sydney.
In addition to all the work and sightseeing, Nuxoll had the opportunity to train by running through rain forests and other unique areas, which he said he really enjoyed.
"You go abroad, and it's not all a vacation," he said. "During all of this, I was still running and working out, but under a lot more exotic conditions."
While Nuxoll was gaining experience in his field and running in Australia, Glover had his hands full keeping up with children at the Boys and Girls Club, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.
Glover worked with AmeriCorps in Indianapolis over the summer and enjoyed the experience so much that he wanted to be involved in Bloomington when he returned in the fall. Glover said the everyday interaction with the kids was the most fun he has ever had.
"It was a great experience," Glover said. "It's humbling because you get to go in, and everyday you have somebody that is excited to see you. You have a consistent group of kids that no matter how bad their life is, how bad their day at school went, they come, and they see you, and when they see you it makes their day."
Glover, a recreation and sport management major wrote grants and coordinated programs, including the "Triple Play" program. The idea was to get the kids to be more active and not sit around all day and play video games. Glover taught the kids proper exercise methods such as warming up and stretching as well.
Glover said at the end of the semester it was hard to leave the kids, but he added he plans to come back and visit his friends often.
"At the beginning the kids gravitate to you because you're an adult, and they want to hang with the adults," he said. "Once you start to get to know them and see how they tick, what they are going to do in this situation or that situation, you start to turn from an adult to a friend, and somebody they can trust."
Although the lives of student-athletes can be tremendously busy, both Glover and Nuxoll found the time to engage in life-altering opportunities.
"Even for student-athletes, we get to see the country a lot with traveling," Nuxoll said. "We went up to Oregon and saw the Pacific Northwest. We go down south and out east, so we literally hit all four corners. Even that doesn't compare to everything else out there, it's just a fraction of the world. There is a lot to see and I would recommend everyone doing it."
Glover said part of being a student-athlete is representing and forming a connection with the community.
"The community in Bloomington, they give us a lot," he said. "They give you fan support. They give you the backing of a whole city. The least you can do is give back to it."