BYU hosts 11th year of semi-annual Sports Hero Day

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On Friday, Jan. 24, Y-Serve hosted Sports Hero Day, an event that invites sixth-graders from around Utah County to come to campus and interact with some of BYU’s student athletes.

Sports Hero Day is an opportunity for kids to meet current BYU athletes and learn from them and is meant to encourage students to follow their dreams and to give them hope for their futures.

During the event, students rotated in groups to different participating sports teams. The athletes spent about half an hour teaching their group the basic technique of their sport, as well as essential life skills like hard work and unity. During each rotation, students had the chance to talk to the athletes and play games with them.

Kennedy Eschenberg shows a student how to pass a volleyball. The 6-foot-five middle blocker has been a member of the volleyball team since 2016. (Hannah Miner)

Sports Hero Day Executive Director Chad Parrish said that the goal of the event is to give kids good role models and show them that it takes more than just being good at a sport to be successful. He added that through the activities during the day, students learn important skills such as teamwork.

Head of the Sports Hero Day Volunteer Committee Sidney Jones said the event aims to help kids see that their dreams and goals can become reality. He said that by meeting college athletes, kids will be able to see that their dreams are not out of the ordinary.

“The biggest goal is to encourage the students to not give up or say that things are unattainable,” Jones said.

He added that having conversations with current college athletes could be a pivotal moment for a student and that the experience will hopefully encourage them to reassess their own situations and build solid dreams. He said that it’s very important that kids don’t just give up because their goals seem too lofty.

BYU volleyball’s Kennedy Eschenberg said that she loves participating in this event. As a future elementary school teacher, she enjoys the opportunity to interact with the kids.

“It’s cool to be able to share your sport with people who are so excited, and sixth-graders are just so excited to learn and have fun,” Eschenberg said.

This year is the 11th year in which BYU has hosted Sports Hero Day. The event happens twice a year and features different athletic teams and athletes each time.

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