It was madness at Moby arena Tuesday night.
Almost 1,000 children flooded the court to meet their favorite student athletes for the Athletic Departmentâ€™s annual Ram Jam event.
â€œIt is our biggest community outreach event of the year,â€ said Deidra Church, special event coordinator for the Athletic Department. â€œItâ€™s a big priority for the department.â€
Every CSU sports team set up a booth for the kids to meet the student athletes and learn how to play the different sports.
â€œThere is so much going on that the kids get a chance to do everything,â€ Church said.
Beyond playing games, children also got autographs from the players, were able to try on uniforms and were bandaged up by trainers just like the athletes.
â€œItâ€™s pure chaos in there,â€ Church said. â€œYou just have to sit back and let it happen.â€
The event has been going on for more than 10 years now, and coordinators said its purpose is to inspire kids to work hard in school so they can be future college athletes.
â€œEducation: thatâ€™s number one,â€ said Ricky Brewer, a CSU linebacker, to the crowd of children and parents.
Senior tennis player Kristen Stople said the event was a great opportunity to give back to the community.
â€œ(Student athletes) are someone they can look up to,â€ Stople said. â€œThey can go to college too, play a sport and get a scholarship to pay for their education.â€
CSUâ€™s golf coach Jamie Bermel said that the community outreach event was a great way to show kids it is not all about being good at sports.
â€œThe message we are trying to send is that being an athlete is great, but you also have to have the grades,â€ Bermel said .
Bermel said one of his favorite things about Ram Jam is seeing kids come back year after year.
â€œIâ€™ve been doing this for 11 years,â€ Bermel said. â€œI like to see the kids grow up. They come back every year and try to putt at our station.â€
And Bermel said Ram Jam can be just as fun for the student athletes as it is for the kids.
â€œThey get a chance to do community service,â€ said Bermel. â€œThey enjoy that young people are so interested.â€
Jake Gdowski, a junior football player, said that he really likes getting to interact with the community.
â€œItâ€™s a good way to promote ram athletics,â€ he said. â€œIt shows that athletes care about the community too.â€
â€œI love playing around with the kids, they have so much energy,â€ Gdowski added. â€œThey are really fun to be around.â€
The Group Real Estate, Wendyâ€™s, McDonalds, Texas Roadhouse, and Kodak sponsored the event.
Staff writer Keeley Blakley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.