In case you didn’t know, Sacramento has it’s very own professional soccer team, the Republic FC. My family was invited to a match last week and we had way more fun than I could have imagined.
UC Davis Children’s Hospital is the presenting partner for the Sacramento Republic FC and at every Sacramento Republic FC game, it’s the team tradition to have kids escort the players onto Bonney Field. That’s exactly what my little Rinos got to do.
UC Davis Children’s Hospital is the Sacramento region’s only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital for children, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley’s only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for critically ill children.
At first I was a little nervous that the kids would freak out because parents are not allowed onto the field. But I was very surprised that they both did a great job! That is due, in large part, to Tricia with UC Davis Children’s Hospital and the staff that helped with the kids. Each person we came into contact with was so nice! The staff members that helped with the kids got right down on their level and asked them all kinds of questions. This really set my kids at ease and made them even more excited about escorting the players.
This tradition was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Each player on both teams was escorted out, hand in hand, by a child. The players leaned down to ask the kids questions and introduce themselves. Side note: my brother is a big soccer fan and was super excited that Lyla got Alvarez, he’s one if his favorites. After they walked out onto the field they stood in a line while the National Anthem was sung and a girl’s youth soccer team presented the flag. That’s just another really cool thing that UC Davis Children’s Hospital does to involve the youth in our community. I stood next to a mom of one of the flag presenters and she was telling me how excited the team was to be able to take part in something like this. “Like” UC Davis Children’s Hospital on Facebook to see opportunities for your own kiddos to be a kid escort. There’s only one match left this season before play-offs, but there will be plenty more opportunities next year.
Let’s talk about where the Republic FC play: Bonney Field. It is located in Cal Expo just behind Raging Waters. If you plan to go next season, get to the match early to take advantage of the blow-up slide area. Once inside, there are tons of vendors offering goodies like mini soccer balls, pencils, fans, and more small marketing items that the kids love and moms have no idea what to do with once home. There are also a few food trucks, plenty of beer vendors, and a delicious made-to-order lemonade stand.
The Tower Bridge Battalion sits in their own section at the end of the field right behind a goal. They wave flags, some wear costumes, and they sing lots and lots of songs and chants. They were super fun. The kids were totally enamored by them and even joined in some of their songs and we were sitting on the opposite end of the field from them! The match was really exciting. I think Lyla and I were more into it that Nick and B! Lyla now wants to do headers and slide tackles now. That’s my girl! Slide tackling was my jam when I was out of rec soccer.
It was great to show her that what she does on her team, the Unicorns, is exactly what these professional athletes were doing on a larger scale. Soccer is an international sport that both genders can do as a 5 year olds in rec, as a pro, and at any age through parks and rec programs throughout the country. I feel very fortunate to have a pro team in our town to inspire the young and old alike.
The Sacramento Republic FC will host youth soccer clinics throughout the fall. See this page for more info. Their next, and last, regular season game is Saturday, September 13th. But, like most of it’s matches with year, it’s sold out. I would plan now for the 2015 season and think about bringing your soccer team to a game by purchasing one of the group ticket packages or reserve 2015 season tickets.
Have you gone to a Republics game yet?