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UT Women’s Soccer Leads Neighborhood Clinic

Published: September 02, 2010
Jazmin Perry ’12 enjoys many things about soccer including the competition and the rules of the game. So when the Spartan forward had the opportunity to share her love of the game with youngsters, she was thrilled.

“Soccer is something I love to do, and I know a lot about,” said Perry, an allied health major, who helped lead a soccer clinic for the City of Tampa’s children’s soccer league. “It was a lot of fun.”

UT’s women’s soccer team participated in the Aug. 28 event which was free to the children and part of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association’s fundraising campaign to purchase new soccer goals to replace the degrading ones in the community’s Henry and Ola Park where the league plays.

Hosted by the association and the Old Seminole Heights Preservation Consortium, UT’s women’s soccer teamed up with Eddie Oyakhilome of the EJJE Soccer Academy to teach about 40 kids how to improve their game.

“We taught the children certain moves and tried dribbling with them,” Perry said. “I was pretty excited that the kid I was teaching learned the move.”

Midfielder Samantha Kay ’12 hoped that the experience encouraged the children to continue with their education through college and to keep playing soccer.

“I just hope it gave them something to look up to,” said Kay, who is majoring in advertising and public relations.

Shawn Hicks, president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, saw the UT team encouraging the few girls present to participate.

“As the event started on Saturday morning, several girls held back until the UT team showed up and only then did they participate,” Hicks said. “Once everyone was enjoying the clinic, I saw the women drilling both boys and girls, one-on-one, in foot work, accuracy and other important skills. That sounds all serious, but the real picture was just pure fun.”

For head coach Gerry Lucey , that was the whole reason he wanted the Spartans to participate. In the off season, he said the team plans to get more involved in similar events as a way to support the community.

“We just wanted to bring across the joy of the game and the love of the game we have to them,” Lucey said. “Hopefully the kids will take something away from it.”

Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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