Student athletes to team with soldiers


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – What do student athletes and soldiers have in common?

    More than you might think, says a UofL administrator leading an effort to strengthen the relationship among the University of Louisville, Fort Knox and the community.

    The Fort Knox-University of Louisville-Community Partnership Advisory Board, a 16-member panel created over the summer, is developing around two dozen projects with that goal, said Renee Finnegan, a retired U.S. Army colonel and UofL’s first executive director of military initiatives and partnerships.

    In one project, UofL’s women’s basketball team will team up with combat logistics soldiers at Fort Knox Oct. 14 to navigate an outdoor obstacle course, Finnegan said. The 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. session is aimed at helping the athletes and soldiers learn leadership and teamwork.

    The Lady Cardinals and U.S. Army 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command will join forces to master “Quicksand,” “One Rope Bridge” and several other obstacles, she said.

    “Sports teams and soldiers in combat depend on the same skills to succeed,“ Finnegan said. “They have to work closely together and adhere to discipline to achieve their mission.”

    Next spring, the basketball team will sponsor the military unit when it deploys abroad, writing letters, sending care packages and visiting the soldiers’ families, she said.