SAN JOSE, Calif. - Earthquakes forward Matt Luzunaris visited the Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose on Wednesday in the ninth 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 Luzunaris was introduced to the most enthusiastic crowd of the season so far. The group of 125 fourth to eighth graders welcomed him with chants and cheers.
PHOTO GALLERY: Luzunaris visits Sacred Heart Community Service
WATCH: Highlights from the afternoon
The Florida native stressed the importance of getting good grades and succeeding in school as well as the impact a healthy diet and active lifestyle have on the road to becoming a professional athlete. He detailed his journey beginning when he was three years old practicing with his older brother, through college at the University of Central Florida and playing at the highest level in Austria, before finally landing a spot with the Earthquakes earlier this year. He emphasized that without school and a healthy lifestyle, he would not have achieved his dreams.
During the question-and-answer session, Luzunaris chatted with the kids about fruits and vegetables and told them that his favorite fruit was a banana, with mango as a close second. He then invited six of the kids to join him in a game of head-catch.
To conclude the afternoon, Luzunaris signed player cards and Earthquakes staff handed out 125 replica jersey t-shirts and tickets, courtesy of Amway, to the students for San Jose’s tenth home game of the season on Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Buck Shaw Stadium against the Philadelphia Union.
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.