The Boys and Girls Club of El Camino Reál teamed up with Northwestern State’s football and women’s basketball teams for a field day at the MLK Recreational Center on July 19.
Over 80 youth participated in the event as Demon athletes supervised the activities.
“I just always think it’s a great opportunity to give back,” NSU football wide receiver Chris Fields said. “It’s all in supporting this community and it’s good to help the kids whenever we can, especially with as much support as they show us.”
The club members had plenty to choose from, with youth tie-dying shirts and competing in the wheelbarrow race, three-legged race and tug-a-war.
“It actually feels pretty good [to have the youth have some fun],” Boys and Girls Club volunteer Delanie Nock said. “A lot of the kids don’t know what it’s life to be outside anymore and get to enjoy nature and all the different activities you can do outside. That was my favorite part in my childhood especially during school when we had those field days, so I just wanted to introduce them to that and get them more involved.”
Having the presence of the athletes also provided an inspiration for the youth that could set with them for a long time.
“We’re here just to try to be a positive influence,” NSU women’s basketball player Meredith Graf said. “Many of those kids don’t have the best home life and sometimes even us just showing up and spend an hour with them can really help them out. Anything we do, we just try to help them brighten up their day and hopefully be a good influence on them.”
Boys and Girls Club executive director Eliza Behrendsen was also happy to see the athletes based on the impact they made on the youth.
“The number one goal of the Boys and Girls Club is to graduate each one of our numbers---either for one day or 12 years---ready to start their career, their college life or to go to vocational technology school,” Behrendsen said. “So when they see these young athletes and successful students, it makes them understand that these things are attainable regardless of where they come from.”