Gauchos Give Back to Next Generation of Soccer Stars

Oct. 19, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's and women's soccer teams have recently completed its annual AYSO soccer clinics in the Santa Barbara community as part of the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative. The Gaucho players ran over 100 practices helping local youth soccer.

During the clinics, the Gauchos filled in as coaches for the AYSO teams and ran hour-long sessions that included warm-ups, technical drills and scrimmages.

"(The coaching session) will likely be the highlight of the season for the girls on my team," said Dave Tappeiner (coach of U12 girls). "I was so impressed with the Gaucho women's soccer players that were there giving their time. They were all really great with the girls and they even signed the girl's shirts and soccer balls."

The clinics are run in an effort to reach out to the community and encourage the local youth to continue playing the game. It also provides UCSB players a chance to meet some of their young fans and likewise, a chance for those fans to get to know their favorite players.

"Machael (David) and Michael (Tetteh) provided excellent leadership and set a very positive tone with much encouragement for the young players (seven 5-year old boys), as well as engaging and instructive activities, making it a very fun and special experience for the players," said Shane Jimerson (coach of the Manchester United Red Knights with Blue Lightsabers). "Many of the Red Knights are big UCSB fans, so, it was an incredible honor and very exciting for them to have such stellar players as coaches.

"The young players really look up to and are inspired by the UCSB players, and it is a great program that UCSB soccer has established to connect with some of the young players in the community."

UCSB Athletics launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative last fall for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth groups.