LeeAnn Noble and Bridget Sandy, student-athletes at the University of North Georgia (UNG) have served as remarkable ambassadors of the university and its women's golf program, and the NCAA's Champion Magazine has taken note. The pair is featured in the cover story of the fall 2013 issue of the NCAA's headline magazine.
The four-page spread and accompanying cover detail the women's early childhood battles with a heart transplant (Noble) and leukemia (Sandy) and how their lives came to a fortunate intersection at UNG. Both women are Make-A-Wish recipients and are using their amazing stories of courage to spearhead the university's Make-A-Wish initiative.
"Overcoming adversity is at the core of one's character, and the story that LeeAnn and Bridget share is a clear testament to the pair's compelling lives," UNG Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves said. "Both have never let any obstacles get in the way of their goals, and they have excelled in the classroom, on the playing field and in the community."
Editors, photographers and videographers from the NCAA were on the university's Dahlonega Campus for two days in early September to interview the student-athletes, coaches and staff and gather information for the feature story. The events included photo and video shoots on campus and at the team's home course, Achasta Golf Club.
"It felt great to not only represent North Georgia, but to shed light on the Make-A-Wish program," Noble said. "It was awesome to be a part of such a big production, and I am excited about sharing our stories with a larger audience."
Champion magazine illuminates its readers about the most important issues facing intercollegiate athletics. With an elevated emphasis on graphic design and photography, each issue leads off with a cover portrait featuring student-athletes. The magazine's content puts a human face on college sports as writers and editors go behind the scenes to examine key issues and to call attention to those who work to support student-athletes each day.
"It meant a lot to represent both North Georgia and the women's golf team," Sandy said. "There are many people that do not realize the huge impact Make-A-Wish has on peoples' lives and I think we met our goal of having our story reach out to a lot of people. The photo shoot and interviews made us feel special and proud to be a part of UNG."
Champion is written and edited for the NCAA membership, but the topics interest individuals who follow issues surrounding intercollegiate athletics. Copies of each issue are provided at no charge to athletics administrators and coaches at more than 1,000 NCAA member institutions with a total magazine circulation of 30,000.
In addition to the print circulation of the magazine, www.NCAAChampionMagazine.org features a photo gallery from the staff's two-day on-campus interviews with Noble and Sandy.