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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh athletics department announced the launch of the Rise as One campaign Wednesday—an initiative created to help navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on Titan student-athletes, coaches and staff.

The Rise as One campaign provides an opportunity for the Titan community to play a role in continuing the tradition of Titan athletics. Through financial support, UWO can ensure UWO student-athletes continue to compete at a championship level and foster the exciting and enriching student-athletic experience.

Darryl Sims

“The Rise as One campaign allows all Titans an opportunity to support our programs as we battle through the fluctuating challenges presented to our athletics department,” Assistant Chancellor of Athletics Darryl Sims said. “We have been able to enjoy a variety of great moments during our rich history, all of which were enjoyed by our Titan family as one. We are now asking you to join us and Rise as One to support us as we look to continue to provide top tier support through your philanthropic efforts.”

The Rise as One funds will be used for COVID-19 testing and athletic and program operational assistance designed to elevate the student-athlete experience. COVID-19 tests—administered regularly—will allow student-athletes to safely return to practice and take one step closer to competing.

Titan athletics has been postponed since COVID-19 hit last March. Postseason competition for women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s diving and wrestling were cancelled in spring 2020, followed by the cancellation of spring sports and fall sports this season. Winter competitions for 2020-2021 have be postponed until at least Jan. 1, 2021.

Being one step closer to competing—with the help of the Rise as One campaign—is an exciting thought for Natalie Dillon, a senior on the softball team, who is an English and journalism double major from Monroe.

“I’ve been sidelined the last two years because of injury and the virus,” Dillon said. “I want all the feelings that go along with a senior season; I want to go into my last at-bat knowing this is it. I don’t want to look back on a moment that seemed so insignificant and realize that was the last time I’d ever competitively played the sport I love.”

Because of the commitment from the Titan community, Dillon, her teammates and all the UWO athletics programs have the opportunity to emerge from this crisis. With the support of the Titan Nation, our Titans will rise and they will rise as one.

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