DAVIS, Calif. - Instead of focusing on defensive schemes, practicing set plays and running drills, UC Davis field hockey spent its day dancing, playing games, and participating in various arts and crafts activities when the team recently visited the Sacramento Shriners Hospital for Children.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 21 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-focused environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay.
“This is something that the team really looks forward to because we visit the Shriners Hospital on an annual basis,” said assistant coach Kate Murphy.
Student-athletes and patients enjoyed playing video games, painting, or participating in other arts and crafts activities. On occasion, an impromptu soccer match took place on one side of the building — competitions that took place while others were busy playing table tennis, air hockey, board games, or simply chatting in English, or Spanish, with one another.
“This is a cathartic experience for our players who are able to step away from the field and help the community. Judging from the smiles and laughter that took place throughout the visit, this was a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone,” added Murphy.
learn more about the numerous ways one can help children in need and support Shriners Hospitals.
Field hockey will open its season on Saturday, Aug. 29, when the team faces Syracuse, last year’s national runner-up, in a neutral-site contest at Stanford. The Aggies will return to campus for its following four matchups - a homestand that will start on Aug. 31 when Bryant visits Aggie Field Hockey Facility