Student athletes march on their stomachs
It was no small feat developing and operating nutrition support for UNCG Spartans during a pandemic, but Madeleine Meinhold ‘21 knows its importance to a healthy athlete. In 2020 she helped supervise a large team of students, which included UNCG’s Dietetic Interns and undergrads from the Didactic Program in Dietetics’ professional engagement mentorship initiative, to provide nutrition support to UNCG’s sports teams.
The team supported student athletes through a variety of means, including events, one-on-one counseling, and the establishment of a new Spartan fueling station.
“With a little creativity, teamwork, and flexibility,” Madeleine says, “We were able to contribute over 680 hours of support to make sure our student-athletes could benefit from the fueling station in a safe way.”
It was an opportunity for Madeleine to further her graduate studies in nutrition, and to give the interns hands-on-experience in nutrition and athletic support. Also important was support from UNCG faculty and staff in nutrition and athletics, who were as much a part of the team as the students.
As she says, “In essence, it took a village, and functioning as a team allowed us to successfully provide the student-athletes with various means to support their performance through nutrition.“
This year, Madeleine is back at UNCG as a visiting professor in the Department of Nutrition and working as a sports nutritionist for UNCG Athletics. Her goal? To “continue to build upon what we accomplished last year and to continue to expand and improve upon our nutrition initiatives.”
By Avery Campbell
Photography by Martin Kane