SIUE Athletics officially dedicated the Student-Athlete Nutrition Center Thursday, Oct. 10. The Nutrition Center was constructed inside the Cougar Pavilion housed inside the Lukas Athletics Annex.
Made possible through a philanthropic gift from Carol and Dr. Paul Nativi, the Nutrition Center is a self-service option for SIUE student-athletes offering choices including fruit, granola bars, yogurt, recovery drinks, shakes and smoothies.
â€œWhat made the Nutrition Center an attractive project was the fact that it benefits all of the student-athletes,â€� Carol Nativi said. â€œThe ready-access to healthy food choices is paramount to good performance. And I see it as a recruiting tool, as well.â€�
â€œWeâ€�re at a time in our lives where it is time to give back,â€� Dr. Paul Nativi said. â€œCarol holds SIUE close to her heart. You wonâ€™t find a much bigger proponent of SIUEâ€™s.â€�
Mark Jamison, SIUE assistant athletic director for high performance, spoke about the benefits of good nutrition.
â€œI can cite any number of studies linking improved performance with proper nutrition,â€� Jamison said. â€œNo other school in the Ohio Valley Conference has this.â€�
Womenâ€™s basketball junior Zaria Whitlock, who spoke on behalf of SIUE student-athletes, thanked the Nativi family, and cited the convenience and location of the Nutrition Center on campus.
â€œWe can come in between classes or before practice,â€� Whitlock said. â€œIt also is something we can show recruits. It is an advantage for us.â€�
SIUE Director of Athletics Tim Hall thanked the Nativi family as well as Deputy Athletic Director Jason Coomer and former SIUE Director of Athletics Brad Hewitt, PhD, for their work on the project.
â€œThis was in motion before my arrival,â€� Hall said. â€œAs I got to know the Nativis, it became clear how much they wanted and enjoyed being able to do this for our student-athletes.â€�
The Nutrition Center is open to student-athletes weekdays 7:15-10 a.m. and again 2:30 to 4:15 p.m.
Photo (L-R): SIUE Director of Athletics Tim Hall with Paul and Carol Nativi.