Hi everyone! My name is Annika Van Gunst and I am finishing up my third year here at Georgia Tech with hopes of graduating in 2017 with a degree in mechanical engineering. I’m also extremely blessed to be a member of the women’s volleyball team. As I’m nearing the end of my collegiate athletic career and reflect on my playing experience so far, I can’t help but smile with an overwhelming pride when I see fellow student-athletes present in the stands or arenas of various sporting events. The atmosphere of a competition automatically switches when student-athletes recognize the faces of their greatest supporters, fellow students-athletes who struggle beside them in the classroom, yet crack jokes with them while standing in line for food in the dining hall. Personally, two of the greatest highlights from this past season on the volleyball court were when the swimming and diving team showed up in full force to cheer us on in our first home match of the season, and seeing the women’s basketball team’s dedicated support at nearly every home game for the entire season. Georgia Tech Athletes for Athletes (GTA4A) has been a main proponent in advocating the difference it makes to each and every student athlete when they look around at their competition and see friends and supporters from other sports teams. GTA4A unifies and unites student-athletes across all sports, stereotypes, and genders and brings us together with a single intention to love and support one another in our diverse athletic endeavors. The Georgia Tech student-athletes have become a family, a rare and beautiful quality.
What does GTA4A mean to you?
A group of competitors bound by a common desire for athletic success and a shared understanding of what it takes to achieve that, supporting each other in a unique way. That’s what the Georgia Tech Athletes for Athletes campaign means to me and I’m proud to take part in it.
– Rand Rowland | Men’s Basketball ’17
GTA4A unifies and unites student-athletes across all sports,
stereotypes, and genders and brings us together with a single intention to love and support one another in our diverse athletic endeavors. The Georgia Tech student-athletes have become a family, a rare and beautiful quality.
-Annika Van Gunst | Volleyball ’17
I can see the understanding on our athletes’ faces and their determination to win whether they are competing themselves or cheering on other Yellow Jackets. The overwhelming support from team to team is something to appreciate for as long as we can.
– Matt Phillips | Baseball ’17
To me, I think sports are more interesting when you know someone in the game, meet, or race because I feel more invested in how that athlete is doing. I also think this move is a great way to meet some of the other student-athletes that you might not see in classes or might not see everyday
– Samantha Kase | Swim and Diving ’17
Personally, when I am able to look in the stands during a tennis match and see some of my fellow student-athletes, I feel more of a sense of camaraderie among the student-athlete family. And that feeling, among numerous other things, helps to make Georgia Tech so special.
-Chris Eubanks | Men’s Tennis ’18
GTA4A is just another example of how special the athletic community at Georgia Tech is. As a student-athlete, it is so fun to watch other student-athletes compete in their own sport because you can honestly appreciate the work that they put into succeeding at the sport they love and representing your school well.
-Megan Kurey | Women’s Tennis ’16
I am looking forward to #GTA4A growing into something that is contagious and deeply rooted in the Georgia Tech athletic culture.
-Julian Darden | Track & Field ’16
I know it always motivates me during a game when I see other student-athletes at a women’s basketball game cheering us on. If we can somehow form a unified community amongst all teams that support each other on and off the field, it would have a greater sense of pride within the athletic department.
-Katarina Vuckovic | Women’s Basketball ’17
Now, I know exactly when the other teams are competing and can make them feel the same love that I feel! The growth of this program keeps the Georgia Tech student-athletes united and I can honestly say I’m loving it!
-KeShun Freeman | Football ’18
#GTA4A is a really cool initiative that has already made a very important impact for student-athletes at Georgia Tech. There is nothing more meaningful than working countless hours to prepare for a game and look up in the stands and see your fellow student-athletes, your peers that know better than anyone all that it takes to be successful here, cheering for you in the stands.
– Samantha Pierannunzi | Softball ’17
All the Georgia Tech student-athletes work hard at their sport and it should be our goal as student-athletes and as a student body to create the best home field advantage possible.
-Chris Petefish | Golf ’18