NASHVILLE – In the midst of a busy stretch run of the 2019 season, a few Nashville Soccer Club players took some time to visit with some kids at Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Thursday evening.
Daniel Ríos, Taylor Washington and Darnell King interacted with kids and their families at the hospital’s Seacrest Studios and helped lead games of Bingo for the kids in-studio and those watching on their televisions throughout the hospital.
While there are many rewards and responsibilities that come with being a professional athlete, experiences like this are some of the most rewarding.
“This is the best part for me,” said Washington. “With all the goals that we score on the field I think these are the most important ones, being able to impact and connect with the community in a way that is really human. Getting able to see them and being able to interact and be inspired and shine a light for someone. I think that's the best part of being a pro.”
For Ríos, putting smiles on some kids’ faces was a meaningful experience.
“It's really fun to be here and trying to play with the kids and have a good time over here, trying to take out of them a little smile,” Ríos said. “That's a good feeling for us.”
For this visit, the players acted as the hosts of three games of Bingo. A handful of kids came to Seacrest Studios to play, and others played from their hospital rooms while watching on television. Seacrest Studios is a partnership between Vanderbilt and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation that provides original radio and television content for kids undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Nashville SC players has been visiting the kids at the hospital for over a year, and Washington is excited to continue to be a part of the club’s relationship with the hospital and the kids receiving care there.
“I think it's always more fun every time we go, whether it's with a different group of guys or the same group of guys. Being able to interact with the kids who are going through something is a humbling experience for us all, definitely motivating and so inspiring. Honestly it's so much fun for us. Today we got to play bingo. Other times we got to dance. Each time it's a different kind of experience and it's always very meaningful.”