LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior Sidney Dukes was named to the 2019 Southeastern Conference Gymnastics Community Service Team on Tuesday, becoming the first three-time recipient in the history of UK gymnastics.
The award, dating back to 1999, is one of 21 annual honors bestowed upon athletes from each league-sponsored sport. The Community Service Team highlights competitors from each school who give back to their community in superior service efforts.
Dukes add to her shelf of Community Service Team accolades from 2017 and 2018.
Over her past four years on campus, the Tyler, Texas native has volunteered 110 and a half hours to community service. Dukes began her service in the fall of 2016 by packing food for a backpack program. As a sophomore, her efforts picked up significantly by passing out t-shirts at a back-to-school clinic, providing relief for flooding in Louisiana with a food drive, and spending time with kindergarteners 30 minutes outside of Lexington. She has continued that work into her senior year, where she has taken time out of the season to help kids develop literacy skills in a program called R.E.A.L. READ and spent multiple hours at a gymnastics Special Olympics meet.
Dukes’ most dedicated work, however, came in the summer of 2017 in between her sophomore and junior seasons. Along with a select group of fellow UK athletes, she left the United States to spend a week in Panama City, Panama. Dukes and her group visited schools and helped build a brand-new community center, spending time with local children and teaching them activities like soccer and volleyball. In total, Dukes spent 100 hours outside the country dedicating her time to underprivileged youth.
In competition, Dukes has received numerous awards with a chance to claim more in the upcoming postseason. In her first three seasons, Dukes was named 2017 All-SEC, 2016 NACGC first-team All-America, a 2016 NCAA Championship qualifier, 2016 All-SEC, 2016 SEC All-Freshman, SEC Freshman of the Week, and 2016 Female Rookie of the Year at the athletic department’s annual all-sports banquet.