As Nashville Soccer Club continues to give back to the Nashville community that has immediately embraced its newest professional sports franchise, one recent stop has been at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Over the last few weeks, some Nashville players have had the chance to visit patients and spread the joy of soccer. Taylor Washington, Justin Davis, Micah Bledsoe, London Woodberry Matt Pickens, Bradley Bourgeois, Bolu Akinyode and Ian McGrath are among the players who have paid a visit to Seacrest Studios this month.
Seacrest Studios is a multimedia studio on the main floor of the hospital that provides patients with the chance to participate in radio and television activities and interact with celebrities that come by the studio. Content from the studio is broadcast to each patient room on closed-circuit television.
Throughout both appearances, kids came down and got to hang out with the Nashville players and chat with them live on the air. The players signed autographs and took photos with the patients and their families.
“I think it’s [visiting the hospital] amazing, really,” said Bourgeois. “It really shows you how blessed you really are, and what kids are going through. Things will continue to get better, you just have to come in with a positive outlook every day.”
For some of the players, especially younger players, it was a powerful reminder that they were kids looking up to professional athletes once too.
“I always go by the motto that I was that kid once,” Akinyode said. “I was a kid looking up to pros and wanting them to talk to me and give me autographs and stuff, so that’s the reason every time you see them, you’ve got to make their day. I know what it means to meet a professional athlete or someone you look up to and watch on TV.”
The appearances were also a chance for the players to show their silly sides and put some smiles on kids’ faces. Some players showed off their celebration dances, and Bourgeois and Akinyode even got in on the “In My Feelings” internet dance challenge.
Of course, the discussion topics weren’t all about soccer. Players were asked hard-hitting questions about things such as their pizza place preference. Washington, for example, was grilled for his choice, which was Domino’s. It was so controversial that during the team’s second visit to Seacrest Studios, players FaceTime’d Washington to reignite the pizza debate.
“It’s always good when we get to come out and do things for kids in the hospitals, and try to keep their mind off what they’re going through day in and day out, and spending some time with them and showing ourselves to the community,” Pickens said. “These are people in the community, and it’s good to spend some time with them.”
Nashville SC will continue to make visits to the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt throughout this season and in future seasons.