Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) held its 14th annual Field
Day Friday on the Wildcats' FieldTurf practice field, welcoming nearly 150 area
kids to meet and interact with some of their favorite NU student-athletes.
Children from Family Focus, the McGaw YMCA and the Youth Organization Umbrella (Y.O.U.) visited campus for the afternoon. The 70-member YMCA group remained after Field Day for a pizza party prior to attending Northwestern's women's volleyball match against Michigan State.
Fifteen of NU's 19 varsity programs hosted 11 different stations consisting of activities relevant to their respective sports. Student-athletes either instructed the young fans on some of the intricacies of their individual sports or created fun games for the participants to play.
"Field Day really helps get the kids involved in their community, with the University and with the student-athletes," said women's swimmer Meghan Cavanaugh, who serves as the SAAC community service liaison. "It's also a great way for us to give back through our sports. Look at this, we are just a bunch of big kids out here having fun, too."
Each child had the chance to spend time with each Wildcat athletic team, getting the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of sports such as lacrosse, golf and soccer. Baseball held whiffle ball batting practice while the swimmers played a land-based version of the training game "Sharks and Minnows." The fencers showed the basics of their sport via very safe plastic weapons. Several kids really got into the football station, where various tackling dummies were used to allow the kids to simulate making tackles.