April 11, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's Brian Wozniak and Chris Borland are used to fierce competition on the gridiron. On Monday, however, the football players battled a different opponent -- the middle school students of O'Keefe Middle School's gym class.
Each serving as captain of a team of students, the Badgers led games of football and dodgeball in conjunction with the UW student organization Ask Big Questions' "Week of Service."
"We are lucky to get the chance to do things like visiting O'Keefe Middle School," Borland said. "Hopefully we made an impact on those young people's lives."
For the students of O'Keefe, the players were a welcome addition to gym class. The students usually play basketball during their gym hour, so football and dodgeball were an exciting change, said Abbye Dinkins, O'Keefe's after-school coordinator.
"They seemed to make an instant connection with Borland and Wozniak," Dinkins said. "It was almost like they were playing with their big brothers."
Fellow UW student and Ask Big Questions fellow Dana Mayber was inspired by her fellow students' ability to connect with the children.
"It was obvious that the students had a wonderful experience, and it is a day they will remember forever," said Mayber. "Borland and Wozniak were so generous to offer their time for the cause and to help inspire young athletes."