Burling visits Chaboya Middle School in San Jose

Quakes defender takes time to visit youth as part of Amway Kicks for Kids program

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Earthquakes defender Bobby Burling visited Chaboya Middle School in San Jose on Wednesday in the 11th Amway Kicks for Kids event of 2011. In its third year of existence, Amway Kicks for Kids teaches local youth about the importance of a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

WATCH: Highlights from Bobby's visit
PHOTO GALLERY: Images from the Chaboya Middle Shool

The day began when a video of highlights from the Earthquakes’ 2011 season played as Burling was introduced to a gym packed with enthusiastic children. The group of almost 150 kids from the summer program welcomed him with chants and cheers.

The 6-foot-4 defender spoke to the children about his journey to becoming a professional athlete. He told them that he was raised in a military family and his dad was in the Air Force, so he moved to different states during his childhood. Burling also mentioned that his older brother was his biggest role model and that they played soccer together starting at an early age. Throughout the story, he stressed how essential it is to work hard in school, exercise, eat healthy and, most importantly, to never give up on your goals. 

During the question-and-answer session, Burling chatted with the kids about healthy food and beverages and told them his favorite snack was banana with peanut butter. 

To conclude the afternoon, Burling signed player cards and Earthquakes staff handed out 150 replica jersey t-shirts and tickets, courtesy of Amway, to the students for San Jose’s 12th home game of the season on Saturday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Buck Shaw Stadium against D.C. United.

The Earthquakes and Amway teamed up to create Amway Kicks for Kids in 2009. The program is in its third season in 2011. Through Amway Kicks for Kids, Earthquakes players will visit 17 schools or community centers in the Bay Area to discuss the importance of being active and living a healthy lifestyle.