UCF Football Teams up With the UCF Chapter of Best Buddies

Nov. 20, 2009

By Stephanie Hayes

The scene behind Classroom Building I at UCF this afternoon was inspiring. Members of the UCF football team teamed up with the UCF chapter of Best Buddies to provide an afternoon to remember for several very special children. The dedication that the team demonstrates on the football field clearly translates to the dedication they exhibit towards giving back to their community.

The UCF Chapter of Best Buddies was founded in the Fall semester of 1992. The UCF chapter is unique in comparison to other chapters in that they are fortunate to have most of our buddies on campus. This allows them to build strong relationships at a faster pace.

As the football players signed autographs and talked to their newly made friends about everything football and UCF, it was obvious from the looks on the faces of all involved that everyone was taking something away with them. Here are some thoughts from some of the players on today's events.

Rocky Ross

"I think it's just fun. I think it's something that everybody needs to do, not just athletes. It's a fun experience just to get to know other people, and get to know what other people go through in life. It's just special."

Brian Watters

"It lets us get out there and really enjoy other people and realize how fortunate we are in certain situations. It allows us to get out there and make new friends. It's just a great opportunity for all of us."

T.J. Harnden

"Things like this are always a great opportunity to give back and just know that we're being supportive of people who are supportive of us when we're playing football. We enjoy it. More than anything, I wish we could do more. This is great for us to kind of get away from football and give back. It also gives us a good chance to interact with fans so that there's more of a personal basis when they come to the games. We know that the people who are cheering for us in fact or could be friends or close relatives so we try to get out into the community and do things like this."

Wes Tunuufi Sauvao

"This just makes me happy. I have a brother who has a learning disability. I don't think it's a disability at all. It's just how that person is in their own way. Anytime I can do this, it just makes me happy. It makes the kids happy and makes their day go a lot better. It also makes them want to go to the game even more and support us, knowing that we support them."