April 18, 2005
It was an invasion of children at the Seminole Softball Complex this past Saturday, as the Florida State softball program participated in the inaugural “Kids Take Over The Park Day” on JoAnne Graf Field. The event was a success as local children ages 8-13 had the opportunity to participate in public address announcing, radio broadcasting, media relations duties, scoreboard operations, and grounds keeping.
“My favorite part of the day was announcing the players,” said nine-year-old Syvannah Weaver. “Casey Hunter is my favorite player but since she’s a pitcher she doesn’t bat. I really liked the event, I had fun all day. I just wish I got to announce Casey.”
Over 20 children participated and the kids rotated jobs throughout each inning.
Softball Marketing Director Derrick Rogers planned the event and it was one of many programs he was responsible for this year.
“I think the kids really enjoyed being in the press box and watching what goes on in there during a game,” he said. “I noticed some of them kept staring up at the press box while they were sitting in the stands just to see what was going on.”
Rogers said that his favorite part of the “Kids Take Over The Park Day” was the enthusiasm the children exhibited throughout the day.
“I enjoyed seeing the kids who kept trying to sign up for more jobs,” he said. “They would perform the tasks they originally signed up for and would be so excited that they wanted to do more.”
Each child received a gift bag that included a softball media guide, shaker and water bottle. They also received a name tag that resembled a press credential. According to Rogers, they liked that a lot because it made them look official.
“I definitely think this would be a great event to continue over the years and at other sporting events. I don’t think people realize the impact it has on these children and how much they wanted to learn about sports. Our Associate Head Coach Louie Berndt commented on how the kids did a good job announcing names and that probably meant more to them than anything.”
Weaver said you can expect her to sign up again next year.
“I don’t think that the announcer has that hard of a job. Actually, it’s pretty easy.”
Thirteen-year old Kristen Parks had the chance to sit in the radio booth with team broadcaster “Campo”.
“The children did a great job,” said Campo. “It was a lot of fun and quite interesting. When we were on air, Kristen told me she was a pitcher so I asked what kind of pitches she threw. She said balls and strikes. I got a big kick out of that.”