Oct. 22, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford Athletics and its' student-athletes continued the Cardinal for the Community program Sunday afternoon, hosting Buddy Day at women's soccer. With the opportunity to experience the game with local youth, athletes from eight different teams including men's basketball, swimming, softball, field hockey, women's crew, men's water polo, women's gymnastics, wrestling spent time with the kids.
The event brought 44 kids from three organizations including the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, G.O.A.L.S. after-school program and InnVision Shelter Network. Cardinal student-athletes had a tremendous opportunity to mentor and get to know the youth.
"This is an amazing experience for our kids," said Andrea Arroyo, Lead Children's Services Coordinator at InnVision Shelter Network. "You look up into the stands and all you see are smiles, both the kids and the student-athletes. It's amazing the connections that get made in such a short time at these events."
Buddies arrived an hour before kickoff and were paired into groups with 23 student-athletes. The groups had the chance to show their spirit by painting their faces, making posters and getting acquainted with each other. Soon enough, the kids got a chance to exert some energy playing tag and soccer before heading into Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
The kids sat with the student-athletes throughout the course of the game and their Cardinal spirit really showed as the game wore on. The groups led the crowd in a GO-STANFORD cheer and got wild when the second goal of the game was scored on a corner kick right in front of the group.
"You can tell that everyone is having a fantastic time," said Arroyo. "Our kids don't usually get this much attention, so they are loving every minute of this experience. Getting to connect with the athletes, having a great day on the Stanford campus and just getting to be kids and have fun."
The student-athletes had a great time giving back to the youth and sharing key life lessons as well, which directly benefitted the organizations' missions to serve youth. Kelly Burke, Director of Youth Programming for G.O.A.L.S., an after school program that focuses on engaging youth in team sports as a way to reduce childhood obesity, was thrilled with the Buddy Day and felt the kids really gained a great deal from the day.
"Our youth look forward to coming out to the Stanford events," said Burke. "The kids always have the most amazing experience getting to know the athletes and spend time at Stanford."
"They walk away empowered to pursue higher education goals, think about their health and well-being, and aim big. We really value our relationship with Stanford Athletics and are thrilled to continue to partner with them on Cardinal for the Community events, such as Buddy Day."
About Cardinal for the Community: Cardinal for the Community connects Stanford student-athletes with community groups to build sustainable partnerships and support the surrounding community. C4C is supported by Stanford Athletics and the Haas Center for Public Service. For more information click here.
About Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula: The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula provides places where young people aged 6-18 are welcome and can belong after school and all day during the summer within East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City. For more information click here.
About InnVision Shelter Network: InnVision Shelter Network is committed to assisting homeless families and individuals across the San Francisco Peninsula and Silicon Valley gain permanent housing. For more information click here.