Rutgers University is adding a new twist to their annual spring game this year that will help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The university is asking children affected by the hurricane to write a short essay or to post photos onto the Rutgers Football Facebook page.
In exchange, they will allow 22 children between 6-8th grade to participate in the annual spring game on April 27th. The children will be allowed to play the last five minutes of the game and it will have an impact on the final score.
It’s really cool that they children could affect the outcome of the game. If it were an exhibition-style game, it’d just be like any other day they let kids play on the field. Instead, the kids have something to play for: the scarlet or the white team to win the game.
The kids will also get to spend the entire second half of the game on the sideline of their respective team. This is a great idea to get kids involved in the action and to let them interact with some of the players at the field level.
Rutgers Athletics and Scarlet Fever (New Brunswick) have been working together to raise over $140,000 in merchandise to donate to the Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. On top of all of this support, the team will be sporting jerseys at their spring game that will have the names of 90 towns in New Jersey affected by Sandy.
I could definitely see this event having an effect on Rutgers’ spring games in the future as well. The game will hopefully have a higher attendance than normal, which will help the organization as a whole. It’s important for schools to incorporate the community in their annual events and Rutgers University definitely has the right idea.