Slamstox tennis player Laura Rijkers has been a student-athlete at University of Arkansas for 2.5 years now. Prior to joining the Razorbacks, she played tennis in the top ranks of the Netherlands, with a high ranking of #25 in singles and #14 in doubles. She has won two NRT tournaments in Rotterdam and mainly played in international ITF tournaments.
When she graduated from high school nothing could stop her anymore, Laura was ready for her adventure in America. She eventually chose for the University of Arkansas. Below she tells what makes her university so special.
“The Razorbacks represent the state of Arkansas. There are no professional sport clubs and therefore everyone in Arkansas supports the Razorbacks. You’re basically seen as a pro athlete and this makes our fanbase very very special. Also our sport facilities are absolutely insane.”
You probably came across Laura’s more often this summer, because she did a summer internship at Slamstox. Something that more student-athletes do so that they can gain some experience in ‘real’ companies. In Laura’s case, extra awesome, since she could also help other future college tennis players in the process.
During her internship, Laura also wrote several articles about what it means to be a razorback, about the trips she has made so far in America, about a day in her life as a student athlete and about so-called clinch matches. Read more about Laura’s home base: the University of Arkansas, below!
Sports, that’s wat they do! In this paragraph you can find lots of stuff about the Razorbacks of UA!
University of Arkansas is a member of the NCAA and plays at the highest levels: NCAA Division 1 and FBS. FBS is the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision. This is the highest level for college football. All teams play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The UA team is known as the Razorbacks or Hogs. The mascots are Tusk and Big Red. The UA colors are burgundy and white.
UA currently has two mascots: Tusk and Big Red. Tusk is a real boar. He attends every home game of the Razorbacks. The boar is there throughout the whole game and can also be visited by everyone. Tusk is also trained to give kisses to people who like to receive one and to the ones without lovers. Taking the boar to home games has been a tradition since 1960. Big Red, on the other hand, is a costumed mascot. The university created Big Red as a follow-up to the real mascot. Big Red is also known as ‘the fighting razorback’. You can see him in the picture on the right!
Originally, UA’s biggest rival is the University of Texas Longhorns. Since the universities started to play in other conferences, the rivalry got mixed up a little bit and Arkansas found a new rival in the LSU Tigers at Louisiana State University. The winner of the college football game between these 2 teams always wins the Golden Boot: a trophy shaped in the two states. UA also has the Battle Line Rivalry with the Missouri Tigers from the University of Missouri. Check out the hype video of the Battle Line Rivalry here.
Varsity sports at UA
Men sports: baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, track & field and cross country.
Women’s sports: basketball, golf, track & field, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, cross country and volleyball.
Check de athletics wesbite to know more about the different UA sports programs.
According to the U.S. News College Rankings, Arkansas ranks among the top 50 public universities. On average, the student-faculty ratio is 19: 1, and almost 46% of all lectures consist of less than 20 students. The five most popular studies are:
- Business, Management & Marketing
- Health Professions
- Communication & Journalism
- Social Sciences
Campuses in the USA are (often) gigantic and have special facilities. This also applies to the UA campus. UA does not only offer housing, but also a wide range of sports centers. In addition, UA promotes sustainability and a large part of the campus is aimed at this. Want to see more? Check out the virtual campus tour.
Sports and recreation
One of UA’s stadiums is the Bud Walton Arena. This arena is used by the Razorbacks basketball team. After UA’s entry into the Southeastern Conference in 1990, UA needed upgrades to compete for a spot at the top of the conference. Bud Walton (co-founder of Wal-Mart) was prepared to donate half of the $ needed for the stadium upgrade, leading to ‘Bud Walton Arena’. One of the newer sports facilities is where Laura plays tennis, the Billingsley Tennis Center. The Billingsley Tennis Center contains both outdoor and indoor courts and a beautiful indoor club area. How do you like it there, Laura?!
In recent years, the campus has had several projects that should make the campus more sustainable.
- By 2021, the same amount of CO2 emissions must have decreased as the university has grown
- 50% of more sustainable travelling. Think of cycling, walking, carpooling, etc.
- No more plastic waste in 2040
In 2008, the university signed a contract whereby 56 buildings must be supplied with green energy. This project is called Razor’s EDGE.
Read more about UA’s goals and how they will reach their goals.
Fine arts center
The Fine Arts Center is also located on the UA campus. The Center was designed by Edward Durell Stone. He has designed the Radio City Music Hall and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. This Fine Arts Center has multiple exhibitions and also complements all other art centers.
By know, you all probably gained way more information about UA. But still we have some cool statistics for you here. Because that’s what Americans like: its all about statistics!
- University of Arkansas has a bachelor student population of 23,386 and a total student population of 27,778
- 25% of the students live on campus
- UA has a 6.5 km long path in which the graduates are engraved
- Bill and Hillary Clinton started their careers by teaching at UA
- Mike Conley studied here, Olympic gold in 1992 and 1993 with track and field
- Veronica Campbell-Brown studied here, Olympic gold in 2007 and 2011 with track and field
Traditions, an important part of many American universities. Also the razorbacks have a few cool ones we would like to share with you here!
A new tradition has recently been added. Just as the NCAA hands out rings for champions, so does UA for graduates. They call this the Senior ring. That’s a very cool reminder to your years as a student-athlete right?!
At the beginning of the university’s existence, men and women were separated. Back then, students hid love notes in crevices of a special stone, Spoofer’s Stone. Spoofer’s Stone developed into a popular way to propose marriage. How romantic?! You can see the stone on the right.
American universities often make use of fight songs, but the fight song of the Razorbacks is really phenomenal! Below you can see part of the lyrics. Do you sing along Laura?
Hit that line! Hit that line!
Keep on going! Move that ball right down the field!
Give a cheer.
Arkansas will never yield!
On your toes, Razorbacks, to the finish, Carry on with all your might!
For it’s A-A-A-R-K-A-N-S-A-S for Arkansas!
Fight! Fight! Fi-i-i-ight!
And now you all of course want to know how this looks like in those huge stadiums on campus. We get that, so we found you an amazing video on youtube! Check it out and goosebumps guaranteed!!
Calling the hogs!
But the Razorbacks do not only make use of one fight song. They also have their own tradition called ‘Calling the Hogs’. Follow the steps and try for yourself!
- The Hog Call is one of the most recognizable chants in all of sports. Here are the basics:
- Raise your arms above your head during the The Hog Call, yell “Wooo” and wiggle your fingers for a few seconds.
- Next, bring both arms straight down with fists clinched while yelling, “Pig.”
- Then extend your right arm with the “Sooie.”
- Repeat these steps two more times and finish by yelling
- “Razor-Backs” like this:
Wooooooooo. Pig. Sooie!
Wooooooooo. Pig. Sooie!
Wooooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Razorbacks!
Do you, just like Laura, want to become a student-athlete at the University of Arkansas? Or do you want more information about student-athletes and scholarships? Reach out, and we will help you!