The nationally ranked UCSB men’s soccer team kicked the ball around with the students at Adelante Charter School on Santa Barbara’s east side on Tuesday.
The team’s visit was part of the university’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.
Adelante students not only picked up some soccer skills from the college players, they learned about the importance of teamwork and about different cultures — the Gaucho team is composed of players from all around the world.
“As you can see, we have players from all over the world,” assistant coach Greg Curry said. “That’s why we’re one of the best teams in the country.”
Adelante Principal Juanita Hernandez said the team’s visit was more than about soccer.
“The players are from all around the world, and one of the premises of our school is to have kids understand we’re part of a bigger world,” Hernandez said. “We want kids to see that people are here from all over the world and they can be all over the world.”
She appreciated that some of the players introduced themselves in Spanish.
“They knew we’re a dual immersion school. It just affirms being bilingual and knowing more than one language is a wonderful thing.”
Hernandez said another benefit to the visit was the added exercise for the kids.
The Gaucho players ran the K through 6th grade students through drills and set up games on the compact field space at the school.