Fisher seeks to impact others beyond his achievements on the track | Mizzou Sports


It’s not every day that an athlete is nominated or shortlisted for an award they’ve never heard of, and for Missouri triple jumper Arianna Fisher, the name on the award led her down the path. Of the history.

Fisher was nominated for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year Award, given to two minority collegiate athletes who have excelled not only in their sport, but also in the classroom and in their community.

On March 18, Fisher’s name appeared in the award’s press release, naming her as one of 10 female finalists out of nearly 1,000 nominations for the award. There, Fisher did her own research into who Ashe was as an athlete and a pioneer of minority equality in sport.

“I think it’s a great honor to even be a recipient (of the award),” Fisher said. “And just being a minority athlete, it’s amazing what he’s done for the culture, for everything.”

Fisher was unaware of the award until she was named a finalist, while having limited background knowledge of Ashe’s history in professional tennis. From confusion to excitement, Fisher found herself humbled, learning the history of the award and realizing the honor of being nominated.

Although she is not named Sports Scholar of the Year on April 28, Fisher stresses that student-athletes seek to excel beyond their respective sports.

“I think a lot of people think of a student athlete as just a dumb sportsman or someone who just wants to be good at their respective sport,” Fisher said. “But being able to show that you can be a great athlete as well as a good student while getting good grades in rigorous major competitions is possible.”

Fisher acknowledged how conflicting competition and training schedules can prevent student-athletes from prioritizing academics. Time management and taking the right steps, similar to his pit jumping routine, contributed to his best SEC finishes as well as SEC Academic Honor Roll achievements.

Beyond winning in its event, the Californian product wants to have an impact on preschool education. As a minority teacher, Fisher works as a student teacher from kindergarten at Parkade Elementary, through the Early Childhood Education major at MU.

“I just want to be able to be a person in their life that they can leave and take away, that person really cared about me,” Fisher said. “This person wanted me to be great and help me do great things.”

Without a minority teacher growing up in her developmental years, Fisher wants to change the script, providing a difference in the life of a minority student that she didn’t have.

“For minority kids like me who haven’t had a teacher who looked like them for years, to be able to be that person they look like, ‘Wow, I’m black or I’m female and I can be a teacher is what I want to do and what I want to represent,” Fisher said.

Athletics was not Fisher’s first calling. The now three-time All-American jumper was a high school football player, but as she fell into the world of show jumping, Fisher knew there was an opportunity to excel at the next level.

“I grew up playing different sports and didn’t major in athletics until my freshman year of high school,” Fisher said. “That’s when I knew this was the sport for me, this is what I want to get better at and this is what I want to train in all year. .”

After her college career, coaching is not out of the question, as a return to soccer is what she dreams of. Fisher laughed thinking the technical aspects of being a track coach aren’t on the path she’s looking to follow.

From holding the women’s triple jump record at Missouri to graduating in May, Fisher plans to return for a fifth year in 2023 for her final season of track eligibility. Meanwhile, Fisher will be in the Master of Education program at MU.

“A year from today I want to be in higher education to progress in this way and then as a person I just want to be able to say that I have grown and learned from where I am today. today,” Fisher said.

The 2022 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year for Men’s and Women’s Athletics will be named April 28, announced by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.


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