Yale's Department of Athletics hosted its annual Youth Day this past Saturday. More than 250 children from the Greater New Haven area joined Yale student-athletes for a day of games, contests and the chance to play at the historic Yale Bowl.
The day opened with a New Haven middle school game. The 9:00 a.m. matchup featured Betsy Ross and Wexler middle schools in an exciting matchup on the Class of 1954 Field in the Yale Bowl.
At the same time, student-athletes led a number of games and clinics on the fields next to the Cuyler Field and Dwyer Track complex. More than 50 representatives from Yale's varsity teams became a part of the festivities, passing out t-shirts, joining in games, and cooking and serving food to the Youth Day participants and their families. The assistance of student-athletes throughout the event was an integral part of making the day a huge success.
At the conclusion of the sports clinics, kids and their families were invited to a barbeque lunch in Hospitality village, where New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation held the finals of their Punt, Pass and Kick competition. The village also hosted a number of family friendly events, like a bouncy house, a basketball shootout, and informational displays from local police and fire departments, as well as giveaways from local minor league teams.
At noon, participants were invited to watch Yale take on Cornell in the home opener and debut of Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football. At halftime, Youth Day groups were welcomed onto the field to "fill the Y" made by the Yale Precision Marching Band. A PA announcement recognized the winners of the Punt, Pass and Kick competition, as well as thanking the day's supporters and participants.
Following the Yale game, the bowl hosted a Shoreline football game between North Haven and East Haven.
The beautiful weather was highlighted by the smiles on the faces of all participants. Thanks to the support of the community, Youth Day 2009 continues to thrive.
"Today was a great example of Yale Athletics' pride in its partnership with the community," said Bryant Blount, Yale Athletics Development and Outreach Assistant. "The department as a whole-coaches, student-athletes and administrative and support staff-joined forces with our volunteers from the community to make the event a successful one. Youth Day would not be possible without the dedication of our staff and community leaders."
The Department of Athletics would like to extend its sincere thanks to all who volunteered their time, helping to make the day possible.