SAN JOSE, Calif. - Earthquakes midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong visited the Redwood City Boys and Girls Club in Redwood City, Calif. on Wednesday, in the fifth 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.
The day began when a group of Boys and Girls Club coordinators gave a brief introduction and presented Ampaipitakwong to an enthusiastic ovation. The group of 125 children, varying from elementary to middle schoolers, welcomed the central midfielder with chants and cheers.
PHOTO GALLERY: Ampai visits Redwood City Boys & Girls Club
VIDEO: More from Ampai's Visit
The Texas native stressed the impact a healthy diet and active lifestyle had during his childhood. He detailed his journey from playing for the Dallas Texans club team to moving to the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., heading to Ohio for college and winning a championship at Akron and then making the jump to MLS. At all of these stops, he stressed the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.
During the question-and-answer session, Ampaipitakwong chatted with the Boys and Girls Club kids and then invited eight from the group to join him for a header-catch contest. He made sure to outline the importance of outdoor-activities-over-video-games and related by using examples from his childhood.
To conclude the afternoon, Ampaipitakwong signed poster schedules and Earthquakes staff handed out 125 replica jersey t-shirts and 250 tickets, courtesy of Amway, to the students for San Jose’s fifth home game of the season on Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Buck Shaw Stadium against Columbus Crew.
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.