June 28, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Former Tennessee Soccer player Sarah Van Sickle ('05-`08) has been out of the college game since 2008, but her competitive edge has never left her. Following the conclusion of her collegiate career, Van Sickle turned her attention from motivating her teammates, to motivating others.
From her drive and faith, "What's Beautiful: Team Knoxville" was born.
Over the past two months, Van Sickle has been meeting at World's Fair Park, Lakeshore Park, Victor Ashe Park, Springbrook Park and Farragut's Library Park in Knoxville and giving women of all ages, strengths, and fitness levels the tools to grow more confident in themselves.
Amazingly, the eight-week boot camp style class has seen a growth rate of over two hundred participants since its inception. Word around Knoxville has spread, and big things are happening for the former Lady Vol who provides the classes for free.
"People are blown away that I'm doing this for free, and I still want people to be able to come with no obligation," Van Sickle said in a recent Knoxville News Sentinel article. "Hopefully by the end of July I'll have figured out a route to keep doing this. I want these women's lives to keep changing."
Clearly for Van Sickle, money is not a priority. It is the confident look on an individuals face after completing one of Van Sickle's workouts that keeps bringing her back.
As popularity grows with Van Sickle's boot camp, local celebrities and even former University of Tennessee athletes have caught hold of her vision. Recently, former Tennessee Football player, and second-place finisher in "The Biggest Loser" Antone Davis, attended "Team Knoxville" as a guest motivational speaker.
The personal growth Van Sickle has felt while encouraging and motivating her fellow participants has empowered her to continue the training. Van Sickle decided to continue the work she started by challenging her groups to meet until the end of July. Slowly but surely, her ideals have caught on.
"So many of these women have felt like they have been lacking hope and confidence in themselves," said Van Sickle to the Knoxville News Sentinel, "and for the first time, a lot of these women are realizing their body, spirit and soul are worth investing in."
For those reasons, Van Sickle has also been recently named a top ten finalist for the "Under Armour: What's Beautiful Challenge" which was designed to build athletic goals for women through video diaries and photos. By winning the "What's Beautiful Challenge," Van Sickle would be given the opportunity to travel all over the nation providing her vision of the empowered, everyday woman to the masses.
The giving of her time, money, and attention has been a staple of the former soccer standout's life. Without question, Sarah Van Sickle is a Volunteer For Life.
To vote for Sarah "The Beauty Hunter" Van Sickle to be named a finalist for the "What's Beautiful Challenge," please visit WHAT'S BEAUTIFUL.
Also be sure to follow her blog at SARAH THE BEAUTY HUNTER for more information and times when the "What's Beautiful: Team Knoxville" group meets.