April 19, 2010
LAS VEGAS -
This spring each graduating class from the UNLV women's soccer team is in charge of organizing a volunteer event of their choice for the entire team to participate in. The freshmen class choose to team up with the Police Athletic League (PAL) and conduct a soccer clinic. Freshmen Colette Jepson wrote the following about the Women's Soccer volunteer event that occurred March 6th.
"Saturday morning was not the typical Saturday morning of your average Division I athlete. We volunteered to coach a practice for the U13 and U12 Crush and Crime Dogs within the Police Athletic League (PAL). PAL is an organization sponsored by the police department that funds a variety of sports for boys and girls ages 6 to 18.
We casually assumed we would be working with 12 and 13 year old girls who played soccer; however, we never expected to interact with young ladies that had bigger hearts than we did. We began with lighthearted basic soccer drills; laughing and loving it. These athletes proved to be far too advanced for the drills we had planned and it was clear they were ready for a challenge. We advanced our practice plan into ball control drills, passing drills and shots on goal. These drills were typical of our everyday college practices and it was no longer a walk in the park for these young aspiring athletes.
We could tell they loved the challenge and we loved working with them. Senior Amanda Forrester made a comment during one of the drills, "I can't even do this!" One of the young girls casually replied, "Don't ever say can't! You can do anything!" When I say these young ladies had bigger hearts than we did, I mean that they reminded us of why we are here, why we play soccer, how we have achieved the level of success that we live out day to day as hard working student athletes. We are so fortunate to have had to opportunity to share our common interest of soccer with these girls and have an impact on each others lives. Their manners, optimism and respect for authority were inspiring. At the end of the day we gained much more from the experience of coaching them than we could have ever imagined.
We played soccer with 32 complete strangers and ended with 32 friends and role models. The UNLV women's soccer team was privileged to have spent a few hours with Crush and Crime Dogs of PAL. Thanks to these young ladies we will be looking forward to new experiences of helping others and aspire to have a positive impact on others lives in the near future. "