March 29, 2012
Albuquerque, N.M. --- During the fall season, the UNM women's soccer team was busy setting school records, winning a pair of conference titles, and advancing to its second straight NCAA tournament, all in front of steady throng of fans as UNM was top 20 in the nation in attendance. During the spring, that same team has time to not only get better, but to say thank you to a fan base that adores them.
They did so last month as the entire roster spent February 15 visiting various U.S. Veterans patients through the NM V.A. Health Care System, and then on March 22, visiting sick children at the Children's Ward at UNM Hospitals.
these veterans have allowed us the privileges that go with freedom. Competing for unm is one of those freedoms, we're allowed to enjoy each day. Spending time with them is a Small token of thank you for all they have given us
On February 15, the team headed out to visit and spend time with injured U.S. Veterans. The squad understands that these veteran have allowed U.S. citizens the privileges that go along with freedom, and one of those is the chance to compete at the University of New Mexico. Head coach Kit Vela said, "Spending time with them is a small token of thanks for all they have given us."
The first stop was to the main lobby to chat with Veterans and hand out autographed schedules. While the team handed out autographed posters and other memorabilia, the team also presented a valentine to a surprised U.S. Army veteran.
The team headed back out on March 22 to the Children Hospital Ward, where they visited with patients in their rooms. The team helped keep children company during treatment. They also played video games, UNO, and foosball with the children and signed posters for them.
Knowing that the teams' fan base is families with young children, the team hopes that those young children at UNM Hospital will one day be in our stands again.
"Our thoughts and well wishes go out to them each and every day," said Vela. "Our team works hard every day knowing that they are cheering for us." That was also echoed by upcoming senior midfielder Shelbie Luna.
"It was a great experience to give back to the community, especially the Children's Hospital," said Luna. "The kids were very grateful when we came, but I think the girls on the team took away more from the visit. We will definitely try to get back there and spend more time them."