Olds Wins Prestigious Brad Davis Community Service Leader of the Year Award

When it comes to serving others, David Old has always been generous with his time, expecting nothing in return. Now, those good deeds are actually being rewarded as recent South Carolina track and field grad has been named 2022 SEC Community Service Leader of the Year Brad Davis. The award provides a $10,000 scholarship for postgraduate study.

“Being nominated was an honor in itself, but receiving the award was amazing because of all the other amazing people who were in the running,” said Olds, a native of High Point, North Carolina, who just graduated. in politics. science and geography. “Getting the email that said I won it all was just a blessing. It meant a lot of hard work that I put in and a lot of other people put in was recognized. It was a blessing. beautiful a high point of my entire career in south carolina If you have the opportunity to help create change, this is an opportunity you should take advantage of.

“Thank you to the committee for selecting David,” said the South Carolina track and field coach. Curtis Frie. “He is well deserving of this award. David is in a very small category. He captained for three years as an extra and earned the respect of all his teammates and coaches.”

“David has been a wonderful teammate and leader throughout his time in Carolina,” added the assistant coach. Mike Sergeant. “He has a strong passion for citizenship, politics and helping others.”
The award is given to one male student-athlete and one female SEC student-athlete each year after nominations have been submitted by each of the league’s 14 institutions. With his degree in hand, Olds is not done serving others as he will be moving to Boston, Mass., to work for the nonprofit Good Sports.

“Good Sports strives to connect underserved communities to sports facilities so they can foster sport equity and opportunity for young people in need,” Olds said. “They work with brands, sports organizations and professional sports teams. It’s a great opportunity to cross paths with my love of sport and community service impact and to be able to work under great leaders who have truly created that special niche of helping other people, especially young people and girls in sport, so they can show them what sport can do for them and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

“Having this investment in my success feels like an obligation to give it back and an obligation to recognize the needs of some of the most underserved people in our community and give back what I’ve received so people can find a similar path. to opportunity and success.”

“It feels like the perfect continuation of what I did in South Carolina and a professional career. I am blessed to have this opportunity. My mother’s sacrifices and involvement in our community in Greensboro have set an example for me of what it means to take care of others in your community,” Olds said. “I am extremely grateful to Coach (assistant) Allden, Coach Frye and the staff at coaches for giving me the opportunity to be on the track and field team, and without it, I wouldn’t be anywhere.”

Although he’s excited about his new job, Olds plans to go back to school to get a master’s degree, and funds for the Brad Davis Community Service Leader of the Year award can be used anytime over the next five years.

David Olds and mom
David Old and his mother, Shelley.

“I’m definitely looking to use it over the next five years,” Olds said. “Boston is a great place because there are a ton of colleges in this area, but I would also like to go back to South Carolina.”

As a middle-distance runner for the Gamecocks, Olds never had a problem going the extra mile outside of the sport. He founded “Wiley’s Warriors” while in high school to raise awareness of childhood hunger in the area by helping Calvin Wiley Elementary, a Title 1 school, near Greensboro. The idea was not only to raise awareness of the issue, but he also helped organize food drives and educated children about sustainable food sources.

While in South Carolina, Olds was the community service chair of the Gamecock Athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

Most recently, he was the lead volunteer coordinator for the City of Columbia’s Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census, helping to create and organize four separate community/neighborhood events to announce the census to reach and have conversations with thousands of residents about the importance of the census in underserved communities. He also worked with the Young Professionals of the Columbia Urban League (CULYP), managing volunteer student-athletes at polling places to distribute water and food. He has volunteered for the Out of the Garden project in Greensboro, volunteering on several occasions to pack and distribute food to families, and helping with ‘mobile fresh produce markets’ to reach and distribute to families. in the food deserts of fresh produce and foodstuffs. Additionally, Olds has volunteered at Homeless No More and served meals at the Oliver Gospel Men’s Center.

“The act of service itself is an incredible experience,” Olds said. “One thing that really stood out to me was the mentors I had through all of these experiences and the people who invested in my success and wanted me to succeed, giving me the tools and resources I needed. I need. It inspires me to want to do it for others.”

Although student-athletes don’t have a lot of free time due to their class and team commitments, finding time has always been important to Olds.

“A lot of people in my life have invested in my success and given me benefits and opportunities, without which I wouldn’t have been at the University of South Carolina and a student-athlete,” Olds said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have the voice I have in the community now. Having that investment in my success feels like an obligation to return it and an obligation to recognize the needs of some of the most underserved people in our community and give back what I received so people can find a similar path to opportunity and success.”

Olds and her parents will be invited to attend the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., to receive the award on June 2.

Jill E. Washington