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Luncheon to Benefit UST Soccer, Houston Sports Park

UST Soccer Player Chris NateraWhen the University of St. Thomas Soccer Program won the Red River Athletics Conference championship in November, the team was excited to have about 400 tournament spectators. But there was nowhere for them to sit at the team’s home field at the Houston Sports Park. The HSP lacks spectator seating, a sound system and a scoreboard.

To raise funds for the UST Soccer Program and support the University’s partnership with the Houston Sports Park, the Houston community is invited to attend the Soccer Program Benefit Luncheon, hosted by Steve Zimmerman at 11:30 a.m. on May 15 at La Colombe d'Or, 3410 Montrose Blvd. The event will feature sports commentator and radio host Glenn Davis of Soccer Matters as master of ceremonies.

The HSP serves as the home of the University of St. Thomas men's and women's soccer programs, and it is also the official training facility of the Houston Dynamo, the Houston Dash and the Dynamo Academy. UST and the Houston Dynamo have a strategic plan to continue to develop HSP and create a premier dedicated match field for both parties..

After eight seasons as coach of the men’s soccer team, Aaron Champenoy said the team has never had a place to call home on campus.

“This is our home away from home,” Champenoy said. “It’s a big thing for the growth of the soccer team to have the home field advantage, and it gives us some ownership and a place that we can call ours.” 

Plans for the field include a top-of-the-line multi-sport scoreboard, sound system and elevated spectator seating—facilities important for when UST hosts the conference tournament again in 2014.

“One of the biggest things about this benefit luncheon is, not only will it impact the men’s and women’s soccer team at St. Thomas, but it will benefit the Houston Dynamo Academy, and the entire Houston soccer community that uses that park,” Champenoy said.

The Houston Sports Park was funded and developed by the City of Houston with the assistance of the Houston Parks Board LGC and is managed by the Houston Dynamo. The Houston Sports Park is located south of the city, 8 miles from the UST campus, and consists of five Bermuda grass fields and one FieldTurf field that can accommodate groups of all sizes.

UST Celts LogoThe luncheon will feature a silent auction with sports memorabilia, including an autographed photo of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo an autographed ball from UST’s conference tournament champs and various other sports items. Current men’s soccer players and coaching staff will be present to speak about the program, as well as signees of the new women’s soccer program, which starts in the fall.

With the addition of the women's team, Champenoy said the luncheon is an opportunity for men and women to attend the luncheon and support athletic opportunities for women.

“It’s a new team, and the Houston Sports Park will be their home, too.”

Individual tickets for the benefit luncheon start at $150, and table sales start at $1,500. Download the registration form to donate or to reserve your place at the luncheon. For more information, contact Rosalinda Cantu at 713-525-3827. 

By Brenda Cooper

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