Andrew Atkinson is a third year wrestler from Lynchburg, VA and a true competitor in all aspects of his life.
Getting to Know Andrew Atkinson
Andrew Atkinson is a third year wrestler from Lynchburg, VA and a true competitor in all aspects of his life. His favorite part of being a student-athlete at Virginia is all the different opportunities and challenges he is presented with each day that have taught him how to persevere. Andrew not only sets large goals on the mat, but also in the classroom. He is a pre-med student in the Curry School of Education’s Kinesiology Program. He is also pursuing an accelerated master’s degree for Exercise Physiology. After graduation, Andrew would like to attend the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine and become an orthopedic surgeon, as he is particularly interested in continuing to study biomechanics and helping individuals with disabilities.
Andrew has been involved in various challenging yet rewarding leadership roles. This year he serves on the Executive Board of SAAC, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and has served as a Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) for his team. In the Charlottesville community, Andrew worked as an intern at the Fried Center for the Advancement of Potential (FCAP), helping individuals with disabilities for more than 300 hours last spring and summer. He learned how to evaluate patients, decide what was needed to improve the quality of their daily lives, created rehab plans and led them through workouts. Andrew has volunteered at Martha Jefferson Hospital, working with cardiac rehab patients, and at the UVA Transitional Care Hospital, visiting long-term, acute care patients. In reflecting on his experiences, Andrew said, “All of these leadership opportunities and volunteer activities have taught me many things, such as time management and leadership qualities.”
As a student-athlete at Virginia, Andrew strives to embrace the challenges he sets for himself. He described what this means to him by saying, “Every day I am faced with challenges – sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. I have learned that it is not the winning or the losing that shapes perseverance and builds mental fortitude but it is how I respond to both. I am taking this mentality and applying it to every aspect of my life from academics and wrestling to relationships and my future job.”
For Andrew, the opportunity to be a student-athlete at Virginia has been a long-time goal. The third year wrestler explained, “I have always wanted to come to UVA. My uncle went to UVA for college and took me to many of the football games growing up. I also really liked the wrestling coaches. I know that Coach Garland and Coach Leen are strong, consistent Christians and they were the type of leaders I wanted teaching and instructing me both on and off the wrestling mat.”
When given the opportunity to thank the VAF and the donors that help to make his experience possible, Andrew said, “Thank you for taking the time and resources to invest not only in athletics and wrestling, but for investing in me. I will not be idle with the investment that you have provided me, but I will use the resources you have given and continue to strive for excellence. I will be a continual learner. Thanks again, GO HOOS!”