For the first time, N.C. Central University athletes will soon have a place to go on campus for supplemental nutrition when the cafeteria is not enough.
A nutritional bar is set to open in November inside the L.T. Walker Complex’s weight room made exclusively for student-athletes.
“It is important that our student-athletes learn about nutrition to fuel their minds and bodies,” Athletics Director Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree wrote in an e-mail after she announced the news at student-athlete orientation in late August. “What better way than to offer a space in which we can provide this service to our student-athletes?”
Wicker-McCree went on to add that the bar will be open daily within specified hours yet to be determined. All of the bar’s contents–which is set to include peanut butter, bread, nuts, smoothies and fresh fruit and fruit bars alike–will be free for the student-athletes allowed to take them.
“We (in the athletics department) are really excited about the nutritional bar,” said assistant strength and conditioning coach Brandon Lee. “The supplements will definitely improve the performance of our athletes.”
According to Lee, the athletics department’s senior administrative staff had the idea of building the bar two or three years ago.
The athletics department raised $30,000 for the project from several sources including the NCAA. Wicker-McCree did not specify how much the bar would initially cost.
When the news was originally announced during student-athlete orientation, some audience members stood up and started clapping and whooping. Someone shouted, “Finally!” which made many people laugh.
“I think (the bar) is a good way to make sure that we are taking in what we need as far as protein goes. As athletes, we need to have the energy to succeed in every practice,” sophomore volleyball player Kennedy White said.
Senior baseball player Ellington Hopkins lamented that the idea is “overdue.” He said he wished the bar had been built earlier so he could have used it more.
“We are finally going to have an alternative place to go if the food in the cafeteria is not looking good enough,” added White.