COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — In the midst of intense preseason two-a-day workouts, the Tennessee Tech soccer team took time out Friday night to devote their energies toward volunteering at Race for the Park in downtown Cookeville.
Players assisted race officials in setting up luminaries along Dixie Avenue for the event, which featured a Kids 1 Mile Fun Run as well as an 8K road race. The team then ran alongside the young runners in the fun run, providing encouragement and support for the kids.
“It’s fun to run with the kids, talk with them, and find out that some of the runners are also soccer players,” said sophomore forward Ellie Iaciofano. “You find a commonality with them, and encourage them, tell them, ‘You can do it, you can run fast.’ We just try to help them be the best they can.”
The race began and ended at Dogwood Park and proceeds went to benefit the park, which serves as a green space in the midst of the downtown business district.
Friday night marked the second consecutive year the team had assisted with the race.
“We try to get out for many things but I also think it’s beneficial for us to show up year after year, so the same people start seeing us,” said head coach Daniel Brizard. “This is a great thing to do because it promotes a healthy lifestyle. Tennessee has one of the highest obesity rates in children, so just getting out and getting excited about running even just a mile, I think that’s awesome.”
The Golden Eagles began camp Wednesday and are preparing to open the season on Aug. 19 with a home match against UT Chattanooga. The team will then face Belmont on Aug. 21 at Tech Soccer Field.
Tech will travel to Alabama A&M for an exhibition match on Aug. 11.