While last semester offered Fall Follies to entertain students, the Belmont Student Athletic Advisory Committee’s annual Battle of the Bruins aims to not only entertain the student body, but give back to the Nashville community.
“Well it’s obviously a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, but it’s still a competition between athletes. It’s a good way for athletes to connect with the student body, whether it’s greek life or any other type of organization that they can come out and support us and we can go to their events too,” said track and field member Travis Case.
The event began in 2012 as an effort for SAAC to become more involved as a service organization along with an athletic organization.
“Student Athletic Advisory is a committee that meets bi-weekly to discuss issues on campus surrounding athletics, we also do a lot of service. I think we do the rescue mission almost every week now. We have a really big heart for just helping other people and especially raising money for those in need,” said women’s golf member Evin Edens.
The committee begins the planning process in December and includes anything from brainstorming for potential judges to reaching out to local businesses for donations for the silent auction.
“We brainstorm at meetings and just say “I’d like to have this person,’” Edens said. “Some of them do say no, but a lot of them are very close to Special Olympics and have very good relationships with Belmont, especially Vince Gill and we’re very appreciative of having him come here this year.”
Last year, the event raised nearly ten-thousand dollars.
“I helped out with it last year and never expected it to be that much money but between ticket sales and the silent auction, everything together it was a really cool thing to hear,” Edens said.
Since the event’s inception, the baseball team has dominated the competition, now looking for a three-peat.
“I think the stereotype for baseball is much more confined than any other sports. When you think of a baseball player you picture a very specific individual– a very specific behavior, very specific stuff they do on the weekend and I think it’s very ironic that we always perform something very unexpected. There’s always an element of surprise,” said baseball player Will Dodd.
Belmont athletic teams take the event seriously, planning and rehearsing their skits knowing that the event’s success relies on their ability to execute.
“I’d say it takes about a few weeks. Just like any team we wanna go out and give our best. We take it seriously, it’s something to take us out of our element to try to show off different things whether it’s funny or serious,” said baseball infielder Greg Brody.
The third-annual Battle of the Bruins is taking place at the Curb Event Center tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Admission is five dollars with proceeds benefitting Special Olympics of Nashville. Culture and arts convo credit will be offered.