Aggie Football Reaches Out to Special Athletes

A thrill for any player is running through the tunnel onto Aggie Field.

April 12, 2013

Photo Gallery | video of clinic (click on "In The Game)

DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis football team replaced delivering big hits on the field to bringing big smiles to nearly 60 special needs athletes last Saturday when the two groups came together for a fun and educational flag football clinic at Aggie Stadium.

Organized by Campus Recreation and Unions, the 57 athletes joined a group of more than 200 UC Davis students comprised of the Aggie football team, Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh!, sports clubs Campus Rec and Union student staff for the high-energy clinic on the very same field where the UC Davis players take on fierce competition.

But that intense competition took a backseat for UC Davis which instead spent a warm afternoon interacting, joking and having fun with special athletes who were excited to show off their skills to the delight of everyone involved.

The clinic consisted of several different stations, each one focusing on a different football skill area. The special needs athletes, part of Team Davis, moved to each station learning how to kick, catch, throw and even perform the all-important touchdown dance. Of course, they had to be taught each skill and first-year coach Ron Gould jumped right in, bringing plenty of smiles with his TD dance.

Gould said it was a memorable afternoon for everyone involved.

"Guys were dancing. They get a chance to be kids. They get a chance to have fun," he said.

The clinic provided the Aggie football team one of its favorite community outreach activities, an area that Gould says his team is an important one to the development of his players. It was sometimes difficult to see who was having more fun, the Aggie players or the very special athletes who brought just as many smiles.