September 24, 2010

UCSB Soccer Teams Run Over 100 AYSO Practice Sessions

Sept. 24, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's and women's soccer teams completed their annual AYSO soccer clinics in the Santa Barbara community this week. Through the clinics, which are part of the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative, UCSB's student-athletes donated 150 hours of their time to teach youth soccer players in Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos have been running the clinics on Storke Field on the UCSB campus since the beginning of September. During the practice sessions, the Gauchos players filled in as coaches for the AYSO teams and ran hour-long sessions that included warm-ups, technical drills and scrimmages.

The clinics are run in an effort to reach out to the community and encourage the local youth players to continue to play 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.

"These clinics are a great way for our teams to continue their involvement with the Santa Barbara community," said UCSB goalkeeper coach Stuart Dobson, who organizes the practice sessions.

"Not only do the AYSO players have fun, but our players really enjoy these sessions," Dobson said. "It's a chance for our players to remember the pure fun of just running around and kicking a soccer ball. It also gives them a chance to make young friends that they will have throughout their careers at UCSB."

UCSB Athletics launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative in the fall of 2008 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.

UCSB is the proud host of the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup, which will take place Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. This marks the first time since the 2004 season that the Cup has been held on the West Coast. All-Session passes for the College Cup can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.