Armes impacts on and off court



By Paul Martin

There are different ways to measure success in sports. An athlete can receive trophies, awards and accolades during a collegiate career. However, the things a player accomplishes off the court can be just as important.

Ann Armes is a fifth year senior for the UK volleyball team. The Cats are currently ranked in the top 25, and are in contention for an SEC title. Armes changed her position to middle blocker this season in an effort to help the team in any way possible. The transition has been a success, as Armes is having quite possibly the best season of her career.

“She is a very dynamic athlete. We felt like we were going to be very strong in some other positions,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “Ann is one of the elite athletes in this conference; it was just a matter of finding the position that played to her strengths.”

Armes has also been successful outside of the gym. She has spent countless hours devoting her time to organizations that have a positive impact on the community. Armes is President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which is a group of athletes with representatives from each team at UK. One of the many goals of this group is to have a positive impact on the community.

“I believe that as student athletes, we have a platform,” Armes said. “We have four years to make a difference and have a voice for what we believe in and should be done in the community.”

Dustin Lewis is the Life Skills Coordinator for the Center for Academic and Tutorial Services at UK. He works closely with Armes on many issues regarding athletes being involved in a positive fashion.

“She has done a great job,” Lewis said. “Ann takes her role as president very seriously, and she is one of those people that go the extra mile.”

Armes helped organize a shoe drive to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. She helped organize the distribution of 10 collection bins, along with sending emails to get the word out. Many of UK’s athletes participated in this event to help the Haitian people.

“We ended up with around 500 pairs of shoes that were donated to Souls for Soles, which delivered them to citizens of Haiti that were in need,” Armes said.

Athletes in Action is a worldwide organization that has a mission of spreading the gospel through sports. Armes enjoys working with this group at a local level on campus.

“I am in a very fortunate position,” Armes said. “I would like to help spread the word to those who would like to listen.”

The SEC has a food drive each year, with the food collected by UK going to God’s Pantry. The Cats doubled the intake of food this season, as well as raising $2,000 in the process. The number of volunteers increased dramatically this time around, which made Armes extremely proud of the effort.

“She is a complete giver, and wants to do anything to help other people,” Skinner said. “She is all about the team concept.”

Armes is a team player in volleyball, and a true champion for her involvement in uplifting the community.