18th Annual Shodair Soccer Classic Highlights Mental Health - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

18th Annual Shodair Soccer Classic Highlights Mental Health

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The 18th annual Shodair Soccer Classic is this weekend and the event is about more than just an all-star game.

The Classic provides a unique opportunity for current and former local athletes to serve the community.

Scott Gittens is an activities assistant at Shodair Children's Hospital.

"That basically means that I come to work and play games with the kids," said Scott.

Scott played in the 2002 all-star soccer game after graduating from Capital High School.

"It was just a fun time to kind of wrap up your high school soccer career and hang out with some of the kids you played with or against for ten years or more," said Scott.

Shodair Children's Hospital sponsors the Classic to raise awareness about mental illness. This year's players helped at a skills clinic and visited the hospital the day before competition.

"Have fun, do some drills, show them what we know how to do. I think it'll also be cool to look at what cause we are helping," said Capital Bruins midfielder Brynn Walker.

"Yeah, you can definitely tell that some of the kids are looking up the high school players and that they want to be like them and that they're here to learn from us which is cool. I'm looking forward to going to the hospital just to see all the kids and learn new things and make their day," said Great Falls Bison striker Hayden Van Son

Scott says helping with this event brings his athletic and professional career "full circle".

"It was my escape when I was growing up and it was something great to always have to fall back on," said Scott.

Director of Community Relations Alana Listoe says Shodair provides six million dollars of free care annually. The all-star soccer games will be played at Nelson Stadium on the campus of Carroll College in Helena. The girls game starts at 3 p.m. and the boys right after at 5 p.m.

Find out more information about the Shodair Soccer Classic here.

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