George Fox University has grand visions for the third annual Bruin Sports Day, set for Aug. 23, as it hopes to continue to grow the event and strengthen its ties with the community.
Children in grades second through eighth will have the opportunity to learn from George Fox coaches and athletes during a clinic from 12:30 to 3 p.m. in one of 11 sports — football, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, softball, baseball and cheer, which is new for this year.
The event drew 200 participants its first year and 250 last year.
"Ideally, we would love it if every kid in Newberg and the surrounding communities would participate," associate athletic director Elise Trask said. "We are somewhat limited in space due to size of facilities, but all that means is that if soccer is full, kids should look to sign up for a different sport. We have over 200 student athletes and coaches who participate in the day, so we can take on a lot of participants."
Community service is one of the school's missions and Trask said that everything the athletic department does is tied to those missions.
"Community service is a vital part of the student athlete experience," Trask said. "We think it's important that they give back to the community that supports them. We also think it's invaluable for our athletes to step outside their comfort zones and serve because it's a great reminder of how blessed they all are to be receiving a first class education while playing the sport they love."
Bruin Sports Day is like the athletic department's version of Serve Day, when the whole university shuts down for a day so that students and staff can volunteer across the community.
"The neat thing about athletics, is that we have grown so much over the last five to 10 years that we make up over 20 percent of the undergraduate population," Trask said. "That means that we have the ability to make a huge impact not just on campus but in Newberg as a whole.
She added that players and coaches alike have really bought into the event, which is co-coordinated by the Chehalem Park and Recreation District.
"They handle the registration and help advertise (and) market the event," Trask said. "They have really great communication channels to the market we are trying to reach. I love that CPRD and Bruin athletics share a similar vision in getting youth involved in sports and that we have the ability to work together to benefit all of Newberg and the surrounding communities."
Registration is open through Aug. 22, but some sports fill up fast. To register, visit www.athletics.georgefox.edu and click on "sports camps" under the "about" tab or drop by the CPRD aquatic center in person.