Little Mustangs Club gets kick
By Joel Campbell
Now that Western's Frosh have slowly become accustomed to the Mustang way of life, a new group of youngsters will be invading the campus in an attempt to become Westernized.
The Mustang Kids Club is a new organization that will provide children in London, aged 12 and under, with an opportunity to experience various aspects of the Western athletic community.
"The Mustang Kids Club is one of several projects being worked on for the 1998/99 school year. We are very excited about the club," said Helen VandeBovenkamp, sports information and promotions officer for the Western Intercollegiate Athletics program.
For the $5 membership fee the young members will receive a membership card, a Mustang collector pin, fan tattoos, a quarterly newsletter, as well as free kid's meals at the programs sponsors McDonald's and McGinnis Landing.
Membership also gives a child free admission to all Mustang games, excluding football, when accompanied by an adult.
In addition, special event days, including parties hosted by the club's sponsors, book parties at the Western's BookStore, a special sporting event with group seating and even a chance to win the honour of being a Mustang coach for a day, have been planned throughout the academic year.
VandeBovenkamp said the goal for the program is to have 250 kids join this year, but said that no matter how many kids join the program will be a success.
The first special event of the year will take place on Oct. 17 and will feature a book party, a pre-game party hosted by McGinnis Landing and a football game at Western's J.W. Little Stadium.
The proposal for a kids club is an idea that has been on the drawing board for a few years now.
"The Mustang Kids Club will seek to promote the same values of athletics, academics and community involvement that are reflected in our own Mustang athletes," VandeBovenkamp said.
Western women's volleyball coach Dean Lowrie sees only positives with the youth club.
"I think that the program is great for the community. Where the kids go, the parents go, which only promotes bigger crowds," Lowrie said. "It is a great way to make kids more aware of the different sports."
Lowrie also sees the club as a move towards influencing student apathy towards Mustang sports.
"Hopefully this program is simply a first step towards possibly starting programs to get the school's student population more interested in sports on campus, which is definitely a pressing issue."
Application forms can be obtained at all London McGinnis Landing and McDonald's locations, the Mustang ticket office in Thames Hall or at most Mustang games.