Student-Athletes Become "Bronco Buddies" With Schoolchildren

Student-Athletes Become "Bronco Buddies" With Schoolchildren
Ally Smith, a starter on the women's basketball team, gives directions on where to shoot a basketball during Bronco Buddies Program day.
Casey Riedel works with elementary school students on soccer fundamentals.

A group of 250 children from Washington Elementary School participated in a series of clinics on May 19 as part of “Bronco Buddies,” a year-long community service project that featured reading programs and athletic demonstrations from the various Cal Poly Pomona intercollegiate sports. Bronco student-athletes demonstrated the fundamentals of basketball, volleyball, baseball, soccer, tennis, cross country and track & field.

“I like kids, and it means a lot to me to give back to the community of Pomona,” said senior Hervey Malone II, a member of the 2003 and 2005 NCAA Division II West Region men's basketball champions, who participated in the outreach program held at Cal Poly Pomona.

Highlights of the event included seven stations where the children had a chance to learn the fundamentals of each sport featured. As each skill was taught, the children then had to put that fundamental to the test through relay races and various other competitive games.

“I enjoyed coaching the kids and seeing them do what we taught,” said Casey Riedel, a member of Cal Poly Pomona's 2005 California Collegiate Athletic Association co-champion volleyball team, as she signed the back of their T-shirts. “College teams came out to my school and that's how I got started playing softball.”

Ruem Malasarn, Cal Poly Pomona's head athletic trainer, who spearheaded the year-long campaign, said he hopes it will continue for many more years.

During the academic year, Bronco student-athletes visited local Washington and Philadelphia Elementary schools about once a month where they would read to the children and demonstrate their sport.

At the conclusion of the clinics on May 19, student-athletes signed autographs and the elementary school children received certificates for their participation.