May 21, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Three UC Santa Barbara athletics teams - women's tennis and both basketball programs - worked as volunteers at Santa Barbara's annual Children's Festival, held on Saturday, May 16 in Alameda Park and Kids World near downtown. For the women's tennis team, it was their 10th consecutive year participating in the event and for women's basketball it was their second. The men's basketball team was taking part for the first time. The effort was part of the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative.
The women's tennis team participated in the face and nail painting area as well as the Sports World section, helping with baseball and soccer. The basketball teams participated in the Sports World area, helping as kids were able to test their skills in basketball, bowling, volleyball, tug-o-war, sumo wrestling, and an obstacle course.
"Every year this is a super experience for our players," said women's tennis coach Pete Kirkwood. "We've been doing this for a decade and have brought away a lot of great memories. The Festival is a great Santa Barbara tradition and we are always excited and honored to be part of it."
Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.