Monthly Archives: October 2011

VIDEO: Gauchos Give Back To The Community

The UCSB Men’s Soccer Team is one of the most successful soccer programs in the nation. With a 2006 National Championship to their name, and a top 20 ranking this season, the Gauchos once again have their eyes set on claiming a title in 2011.

But not before they help out the community first.

“It’s very important to us to have our players accessible to kids, particularly kids in this community,” said Gauchos head coach Tim Von Steeg. “We have a lot of requests that come in every single year for grammar schools, junior highs, and other groups like the Boys and Girls Club. They are all looking for young men, role models, that will not just teach soccer skills but be role models for young boys and girls in town.”

The Gauchos had a busy summer helping out Santa Barbara children, offering their services to numerous charitable organizations and youth groups in the county. On August 27 the Gauchos took part in the AYSO Skills Day at Girsh Park. With over 1,000 AYSO players, coaches, and parents in attendance, the UCSB men’s and women’s soccer players participated in skills training, autograph sessions and face painting with AYSO players. Furthermore, the UCSB coaches ran coaching clinics for all of the local youth coaches in the area.

“We have players from all over the world in our roster and within our team. It gives a different perspective to the kids [that we help],” assistant coach Greg Wilson said. “We have many hispanic speaking players, players from Africa and Germany and all over Europe. It is a great opportunity for the local kids to see what a global sport we are and what a global initiative we have.”

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Gauchos Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

The UCSB Gauchos celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month in a big way this year, recognizing the rich and diverse culture of Santa Barbara County by offering their services to numerous businesses and philanthropic organizations in the area.

The Gauchos set aside 1,500 tickets men’s soccer tickets for Hispanic businesses and charitable organizations during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15 each year. The tickets were provided free of charge.

“UCSB Athletics continues to make the community a priority and the Gauchos Give campaign is a clear example of this,” said Sergio Villa, past President of the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “I am very proud to be a part of this and I encourage that anyone who has never attended a game do so, as they will not be disappointed.”

The local businesses and charities that enjoyed the free tickets included the Boys and Girls Clubs of Goleta and Santa Barbara, Casa De La Raza, Querencia, the Goleta Homework Club, Hispanic Business Magazine, the Children’s Museum, The Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Spanish Soccer League, Marborg Industries, Univision, Santa Cruz Market, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic, Citrix Online, Deckers, Hayward Lumber and the City of Goleta.

Along with the 1,500 free tickets, video features of Latino-American athletes speaking about their experiences were shown on, and men’s basketball senior Jaimé Serna made a special guest appearance during the radio broadcast of the September 23 men’s soccer match against San Diego.

A video of current midfielder Luis Silva speaking about his upbringing can be found here.

For more information on Hispanic Heritage Month, please click here.

AYSO Skills Day A Rousing Success

On August 27 the Gauchos helped local children learn essential soccer and life skills at Girsh Park.

It was the second annual Skills Day Event held by the Gauchos in conjunction with Santa Barbara’s AYSO chapter. The event featured drills, coaching clinics, and other non-athletic activities that brought the Gauchos closer to the community and helped them give back to young players and families in the area.

From 10:30 to 12:30 the Gauchos players taught soccer drills to the U5-U8 division. Coaching clinics were held later in the afternoon by the 2006 National Champion coaching staff, and training sessions for the U10 through U19 division were held from 3:00 to 5:00.

The team also announced more opportunities for AYSO players and the community throughout the Gauchos 2011 season. Young players will be able to sign up to be ball boys/girls during Gauchos games at Harder Stadium, giving them the opportunity to meet their athletic heroes and enjoy an exciting experience at one of the nation’s best collegiate soccer stadiums.

Furthermore, AYSO players will have the opportunity to have a current Gauchos player to help out during practices. As part of the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative, UCSB soccer players will be filling in as guest coaches for local soccer teams. The Gauchos will run a one-hour practice for your team at Storke Field on the UCSB campus, where they will run drills and help young players learn important soccer and life skills.

To sign your team up for ball boy/girl duties or have a Gauchos player coach at your practice, please visit our Community Outreach page.

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