Oct. 2, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team has just completed its latest annual free soccer clinics in the community, helping numerous AYSO teams in the local area.
Hosting over 100 clinics in the month of September, the Gaucho men's soccer team, currently ranked as high as 15th in the nation, spent time with area children, ages 5 to 13, teaching them the fundamentals of the game.
"This was a great opportunity for us to show a different side of our program," Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. "It allowed our team to create a bond with the community by getting involved and making a difference."
The entire men's soccer squad spent over 150 hours working with the children, teaching various soccer skills based on the children's abilities in an effort to reach out to the community and encourage them to continue playing the game and create a bond with the Gauchos.
"It was a privilege and an honor for us to be out there because these are the people that fill up the stands," senior co-captain Alfonso Motagalvan said. "It's important for us because it gets us involved with the kids and then they have a role model to follow."
Such clinics included the "move of the day" and several Gaucho players showed the youths their favorite move while on the pitch, passing down their tremendous skills to the kids in the hopes the children continue on with their learning of soccer.
"It was a great chance for the players to get out in the community and meet the fans," senior co-captain Chris Pontius said. "We were all at a young age once and we needed people to inspire us to play then. We need to do this for the community. People did this for us and we needed to do this for them."