Swic Blue Storm Goes ‘GREEN’ with Sustainable New Mascot
Starting this fall, the Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm will retire the storm cloud in favor of a ferocious new mascot – the endangered snow leopard. Joining the eco-driven movement at the college, a member of the Illinois Green Economy Network, the SWIC Athletics department wanted to do its part by adopting a new mascot that needs the help of Planet Earth. “By choosing the snow leopard, we hope to draw attention and awareness to this endangered species,” said SWIC Athletic Director Jay Harrington. “Beyond awareness, we plan to establish one or more scholarships for student-athletes pursuing careers in veterinary sciences or sustainable energy.” The snow leopard, a beautiful Himalayan mountain cat born with striking blue eyes, was an easy match for the premier Blue Storm Athletics program. A natural predator, the snow leopard is known for its ability to survive in a rugged landscape and harsh climate. The cat also is the top predator in its ecosystem. These powerful hunters can leap as far as 50 feet and bring down prey up to three times their weight. While college sports abound with predatory-feline mascots – lions and tigers and bearcats – “we think ours will be the first snow leopard mascot in North American sports,” said Harrington, who has coached the Blue Storm for more than three decades in his NJCAA Hall of Fame career. “Among former players I keep up with, I called Josh Harrellson, who was just drafted by the New York Knicks, and he thought it was really cool.”
For more information, visit www.swic.edu.