Wildcat Soccer Gives Back
Throughout the school year, members of the Kentucky Women’s Soccer team and coaching staff lend a hand to members of the community through various service activities.
From visiting children in the hospital to helping military servicemen call home, the Wildcats are always prepared to give back to the community.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say that we love going out into the community and helping out wherever we can,” said senior midfielder Kelsey Fenix. “We recently went to Shriners Children's Hospital to play with the kids. We all had a great time because the kids were fun and so full of energy. Our status as UK athletes makes us role models for kids in the community. The more we can get out into the community and interact, the more of an impact we can have.”
UK Soccer players and coaches spent the afternoon on a recent trip to Shriners hospital playing board games, air hockey, cards, pool, and ping pong with the kids while creating and sharing artwork with some of the more artistic youth at the hospital.
UK’s generous reach doesn’t stop there as head coach Warren Lipka described the scene at Military day at Keeneland.
“I was reading the newspaper and saw it was Military Day at Keeneland, so I was going to go out and see it anyway. When I got there, it was unbelievable the amount of military that were actually out there in their fatigues. I spoke to a couple of them. The majority of them were around the payphones trying to call home, because they only get to use the phone once a week. The majority of them were lines of 10-15 people waiting to use the phones.
“Knowing that I had free weekends and nights I felt this was something I could do for those guys. These kids looked like they’re 12 years old. One week they could be here and the next week they could be over there. The one thing I felt I could do to help them was to let them use my phone. They were so appreciative to be able to do that, it was amazing. Just seeing them call home and talk to their moms was extremely touching.”
Throughout the year, the Wildcats can also be found helping out with Special Olympics, the YMCA Splash event, serving food at the Hope Center – a shelter for those in need, mentoring elementary school children and helping ring the bell for the Salvation Army during the holiday season.
Below are some photos from the visit to the Shriner's Hospital.
Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.