On a sunny but cool afternoon on April 6, students and parents from NTA, Tarkington, and Walsh ventured to Chicago Indoor Sports for a fun filled Thursday game day.
UI staff and volunteers from GSD&M greeted the children as they trickled in. Students from Walsh arrived first and, following warm-ups led by their Take the Lead captains, they scrimmaged against one another until the other teams arrived. Once the NTA and Tarkington buses rolled in, you could see the growing excitement in all the players as they prepared for an afternoon of friendly competition.
Play was fast and fun as the games got underway. Volunteers from GSD&M weren’t afraid to get in the mix either, playing solid back line defense for a number of teams, keeping balls from going out of bounds, and providing strong coaching for our players.
“It was inspiring to see one little guy that wanted to try to be a goalie yet had a tough time stopping the ball. He didn’t give up trying. At one point he was frustrated and I walked over and told him how hard it is to be a goalie but good for him for trying to do his best. The smile from him was too much. And every time after that, if he missed and the other team scored, he would look over to me and give me a big smile.” – Betty McCoy (GSD&M)
When play concluded, all three teams and volunteers gathered together to discuss the day’s games with UI staff. The teams also discussed the importance of sportsmanship and respect when playing against one another. Following this discussion and some group photos, students and volunteers were dismissed and given healthy snacks of fresh fruit and granola bars.
UI would like to thank our volunteers for taking time out of their Thursday to work with our students. This afternoon of soccer, fun, and growth could not have been possible without the support of GSD&M. Thank you!