Women’s soccer uses S.O.C.C.E.R. to benefit community

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 25, 2012) – The ETSU women’s soccer team has teamed up with Youth Service America (YSA) and the Boys and Girls Club of Johnson City/Washington County to offer free soccer clinics through the S.O.C.C.E.R. (Stopping Obesity in Children through Creative Education and Reinforcement) program, which commenced on Tuesday when the first free clinics were held.

ETSU junior Tori Head (Kingsport, Tenn.), sophomore Rachel Lewis (Sandy Spring, Md.) and freshmen Jenna Caudle (Middletown, Md.) and Ellis Parsons (Cardiff, Wales) participated in the opening clinic, which lasted from 5:45 – 7 p.m. Every Tuesday and Thursday until April 19, one of five different groups of ETSU women’s soccer student-athletes will teach the clinic, all in an effort to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors among the youth of Johnson City.

“The aim of the S.O.C.C.E.R. program is to use soccer as a vehicle to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors,” said Emma Apatu, a community outreach volunteer and Dr. of Public Health student at ETSU. “Specifically, S.O.C.C.E.R. will extend Triple Play's breadth by offering free soccer clinics led by youth volunteers from ETSU's women's soccer team. Additionally, undergraduate students from ETSU's College of Public Health will be recruited to provide program support and sustainability.

“The soccer clinics will include an active component where participants will engage in soccer drills and scrimmages. At the conclusion of each clinic, participants will be provided with healthy snacks and food education. The program will culminate on Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22), during which participants and youth volunteers will plant a healthy vegetable garden at the Boys and Girls Club facility.”

YSA offered the S.O.C.C.E.R. program a $500 grant through its UnitedHealth HEROES program. According to its website, the program awards grants to help youth create and implement local, hand-on programs to fight childhood obesity.

For more information on ETSU women’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.

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